Faculty and Staff Stories

Liane Jablonski and Robin Robinson COD award 2014

Massachusetts Colleges Online Course of Distinction Award recipient Liane Jablonski, left, with MCO chair Robin Robinson, Director of Education Technology and Interactive Media at Framingham State University.

MWCC instructor Liane Jablonski was recently recognized with a Course of Distinction Award from Massachusetts Colleges Online for her online course, “Introduction to Sociology.”

A resident of Rindge, N.H., Jablonski received the award during the consortium’s 10th annual eLearning Conference, held this spring at Bridgewater State University.

More than 2,600 courses are offered through MCO, a consortium of the 15 community colleges and seven members of the state university system in Massachusetts. The MCO Course of Distinction (COD) award is named after the Bay State’s unique association with the “Sacred Cod,” and the contributions that the fishing industry made to Massachusetts economy in the early years of its history.

“The award recognizes faculty from throughout the state who have developed and teach innovative and exciting online courses,” said Dr. Vincent Ialenti, dean of Academic and Institutional Technology at MWCC. “These courses are representative of the best uses of eLearning instructional tools to enhance student success.” The award’s name was selected to recognize the contribution that MCO’s members and eLearning make to the state’s economy in the 21st century.

In addition to accepting a cod fish replica pitcher and certificate at a special luncheon at the conference, Jablonski presented information about her course as part of the conference’s Best Practices Showcase.

MWCC Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Instruction Michele Paranto described Jablonski’s course as “Exemplary in its use of the learning modules to scaffold and facilitate student learning and engage students in the course material.”

In her course, Jablonski built discussion boards that encourage students to take ownership of their learning, to communicate and collaborate with each other and to master the content. In addition, she maximizes course communication to create and maintain a consistent instructor presence within the course that fostered positive online relationships with students, Paranti said.

Jay Bhatt, president and chief executive officer of Blackboard, Inc. delivered a keynote address to the 250 conference attendees, focusing on the role of online and classroom technology in education’s future, the impact on teaching and learning, and the expectations of 21st century learners.

 

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

 

 

VFW scholarship donation to MWCC Foundation

Members of Ovila Case Post 905 Veterans of Foreign Wars recently presented a $1,000 donation to the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation to support scholarships for student veterans. Pictured, from left, Commander Howard Sands, President Daniel M. Asquino, Service Commander Kenneth Fournier, board member and past commander Don Progen, and MWCC Foundation Executive Director Carla DeFosse.

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 M. Asquino and Foundation Executive Director Carla DeFosse accepted the generous donation from VFW Commander Howard Sands, Service Commander Kenneth Fournier and board member and past commander Don 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.

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

Dan Donovan, Dan Asquino

Forty-year service award recipient Professor Daniel Donovan, with President Daniel Asquino.

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 19th Annual Employee Service Awards Ceremony on May 5 in the South Café. Collectively, the recipients represent 460 years of service to MWCC students and the community.

In addition to the service awards, MWCC announced the recipients of the 2014 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance and the recipients of the college’s fourth annual da Vinci Parachute Award.

Jo-Anne Cronin Fors and John Walsh were presented with the Commonwealth Citation, and the Academic Advising department received the group award. Honorees include: Dawn Babineau, Erin Battistoni, Susan Blain, Michelle Contey, Jaime Dumont-McEvoy, Craig Elkins, Kijah Gordan, Meghan Koslowski, Jose Mangual, Stephanie Marchetti, Elaine Murray, Christine Rayner, Limari Rivera, Patricia Sabulis, Karen Sanieski, Linda Scullane, Liza Smith, Sandy Tavares and Chrystal Voorheis.

MWCC introduced the da Vinci Parachute Award in 2011 as a means to recognize employees who demonstrate innovation and creativity in their field at MWCC. Helen Butler, Alan Cumming and Mary Maga were recipients of the 2014 awards for individuals. The da Vinci group award was presented to Kathy Boucher, Maria Gariepy, Connie Helstowski, Debbie Holland, Heather Mulry, Tracy Sheridan and Nancy Thibodeau of the Human Resources and Payroll Division.

In addition, Cynthia Krusen and Catherine Maddox-Wiley were recognized as nominees for the state Mentoring Award, and Michelle Valois was recognized as MWCC’s nominee for the state Eugene Rooney Award.

Daniel Donovan was recognized for 40 years of service to MWCC, John McNally was recognized for 35 years, Linda Bolduc was recognized for 30 years, and Eileen Souza was recognized for 25 years. Employees recognized for 20 years include: Arthur Collins; Yoav Elinevsky; Christine Kisiel; Robert LaBonte; Linda LaRoche; Elena Natalizia; and Karen Payne. Employees recognized for15 years:  Leslie Cullen; Patricia Dakota; Scott Farris; Maryann Kane; Joyce Kulig; Joyce Miller; Carol Reed; Susan Taylor; Chrystal Voorheis; and Clifford Wilder. Employees recognized for 10 years: Janice Barney; Deborah Brennan; Ana Contreras; Robin Duncan; Susan Goldstein; James Korman; Daphne Nichols; Katherine Pecorelli; Aurea Rivera; and David Wyman. Employees recognized for five years of service include: Heather Conn; Jessica Connor; Craig Elkins; Donald Goguen; David Graham; James Halkola; John Henshaw; Virginia Heroux; Patrice Lincoln; Patricia Meza; Brett Moulton; Edward Mullen; Steven Ringer; and Luis Rivera.

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.

 

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.

Kevin Hines with MWCC Nursing & Human Services students.

Kevin Hines, seated, with MWCC Nursing & Human Services students following his presentation.

Had someone just smiled and asked if he was okay that September 2000 afternoon in San Francisco, 19-year-old Kevin Hines would not have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. The voices in his head, caused by the brain illness of bipolar disorder prevailed, convincing him that he must die. Mid-air, he prayed he would live. Miraculously, he did.

Hines, one of 33 people to survive a jump off the 220-foot bridge and author of Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt, was the keynote speaker during the second annual Mental Health Awareness Conference, sponsored by The SHINE Initiative, Mount Wachusett Community College and Heywood Healthcare.

The half-day conference, held March 27 at the Colonial Hotel, was attended by more than 300 people, including healthcare professionals, educators and students. A panel presentation focused on the stigma associated with mental illness and its impact on seeking diagnosis and treatment; the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, and veterans’ post-war health issues. More than 150 MWCC students majoring in nursing and human services participated in the conference and a suicide prevention training session that followed.

President Daniel M. Asquino, Paul Richard, executive director of the SHINE Initiative, and Dawn Casavant, vice president of external affairs for Heywood Hospital, delivered welcoming remarks, and Human services major, Renee Chandler, shared her award-winning poetry reflecting on living with mental illness. College Counselor Melissa Manzi, MSW, LCSW, and College Health Coordinator Diane Kin, RN, BSN, HNC, led a QPR (question, persuade, refer) suicide prevention training program that focuses on how to assist someone is in distress.

Panelists included Dr. Heather Brenhouse, assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience Psychology at Northeastern University; Dr. Stephanie Rodrigues, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry’s Division of Addiction at the UMass Medical School; and Bryan Doe of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Affairs.

Approximately 57 million Americans experience a mental health disorder in any given year. Between 70 to 90 percent of these individuals have a significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with combined treatment of medication and therapy.

“Ultimately, resources and time are spent on things that are a priority. Let us make certain that mental health awareness, treatment of mental illness and the sensitivity of mental illness are everyone’s priority,” President Asquino said.

Hines’ presentation provided an inside-look at the thought process and actions, as well as the effect on his family. Born to poor, young parents who struggled with mental illnesses and substance abuse, Hines said he and his birth brother would frequently be left alone in seedy hotel rooms. Within a year, they were taken into child protective services, and bounced in and out of several foster homes. Hines’ brother died as a result of neglect and untreated health conditions, while Hines was adopted by loving and supportive parents, Pat and Debbie Hines. In adolescence, what he describes as a “brain disease” began to surface, and at 17, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This imbalance in his brain chemistry resulted in paranoia, mania, horrific hallucinations and grandiose illusions, which he attempted to mask from his family and doctors.

One of the few Golden Gate Bridge jump survivors to regain full mobility, Hines has since shared his story with over 300,000 people to raise awareness about mental illness, treatment, and suicide prevention. He has been featured in the critically acclaimed film “The Bridge,” on Larry King Live, 20/20, Anderson Cooper 360, and Good Morning America, as well as in hundreds of national and international print, radio, film, and television media outlets. A signed copy of his memoir is available at the LaChance Library.