Faculty and Staff Stories

John Day Cathy Teague Phillip Stan President Daniel Asquino

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

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

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

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

The following awards were presented:

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

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

Visions Program Award: Stevie LaBelle

RX Award: Kimberly Mertell

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

Sandy Signor Award: Diane L. Mascitti

Jean Tandy Award: Jessica E. Foley

2015 Newman Civic Fellow Award: John S. Day

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

CURRICULUM AWARDS

Accounting: Gregory A. Lizotte

Art: Corinne M. Goodrich

Automotive Technology: David S. Niall

Biological Science: Meghan K. Durgin

Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing: Savannah M. Cooke

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

Broadcasting and Electronic Media – Photography: Michael D. Taillon

Business Administration Career: Pamela A. Mercer

Business Administration Transfer: Derek L. Gaidanowicz

Clinical Laboratory Science: Prabha S. Amaresan

Computer Information Systems: Crystle R. Monahan

Criminal Justice Corrections: Lance M. Grieman

Criminal Justice Law Enforcement: Derek N. Gyles

Dental Hygiene: Tasey J. Lemieux

Early Childhood Education Career: Lauren E. Hildreth

Early Childhood Education Transfer: Heidi M. Lupien

Exercise and Sports Science: Patricia Rousseau

Fire Science Technology: John J. Gilmartin

General Studies: Charles M. Njaaga

Graphic & Interactive Design: Desiree M. Procell

Human Services: Renee P. Chandler

Legal Studies: Kimberly L. Bonk

Liberal Arts & Sciences: Kayara S. Burnett

Liberal Arts – Theatre: Austina L. Towle

LPN to ADN Bridge: Catherine W. Migwi

Medical Assisting: Tess L. Aucoin

Natural Resources: Michelle Nye

Nursing: Karlee E. McIver, Jared E. Robie

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

MWCC FOUNDATION, INC. AWARDS

Alumni Scholarship: Alexander R. Campbell

Barbara Chaplin Memorial Scholarship: Heidi M. Lupien

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

Carl Tammi Award: Crystle R. Monahan

Carrie Progen Memorial Scholarship: Kathryn M. Ahearn

Craig Hamel Scholarship: Lindsay M. Howard

Edith Baldyga Scholarship: Roxanna M. Figueroa

Ellen Daly Dental Hygiene Scholarship: Alyssa B. Adoretti

Father Adamo Scholarship: Renee P. Chandler

James D. Murphy Scholarship: Phillip M. Stan

Jonathan C. Craven Scholarship: John S. Day

John Burton Award: Amber Martinez

Joseph B. Ruth Scholarship: Mary Lisa Burns

Keith Nivala Award: Thomas J. Mullins

Marilyn Kiosses Scholarship: Kimberly L. Mills

Melissa Herr Marsh Scholarship: Amy L. Moisan

Millie McGuire Foundation Scholarship: Diane L. Mascitti

Mount Observer Scholarship: Bryan R. Nolan

Robert H. Gilman Memorial Scholarship: Stephanie A. Zamojski

Robert Weibel Award: Garrett J. Watson

Roberts Scholarship: Louis A. Ayisi

Sara Kajel Award: Amanda L. Stewart

Sharyn Rice Award: Aaron Trudeau

MWCC Veteran’s Memorial Scholarship: Aaron Trudeau
MEMORIAL AWARDS

Aspasia Anastos Award: Lara E. White

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

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

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

First MWCC graduation 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cathy Teague

Cathy M. Teague

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sam Leveillee MWCC GID exhibit 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laurynn Bedard Oakmont RHS MWCC GID exhibit 2015

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

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

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

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.

 

Gail Steele

Professor Gail Steele

Professor Gail Steele, director of Theatre at the Mount, not only will be recognized with a community service award during the House of Peace and Education’s annual Celebrating Women event, she’ll also share the stage with one of the country’s greatest performers, Rita Moreno.

The Grammy, Tony, Emmy, and Oscar winning performer will headline the annual event to raise awareness of women’s issues and funding for House of Peace & Education, Inc., a non-profit serving women and children in North Central Massachusetts. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, May 21, at Great Wolf Lodge of New England in Fitchburg.

Under Professor Steele’s supervision TAM has received local, regional, and national acclaim. In her 38-year career, over 2,500 individuals have appeared in TAM productions and over 8,000 have participated in summer drama and choir programs. Many have gone on to pursue their own careers in theatre after literally growing up at Theatre at the Mount. In addition to her work at TAM, Professor Steele has shared her expertise and been active in many organizations throughout the community.

HOPE empowers women and children by providing employment and educational skills, and nurturing self esteem, so they can to transition into independence. Because HOPE is a no-fees organization, it must raise considerable funds each year to continue its many services.

This year’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. and consists of cocktail hour with cash bar, dinner, a performance by Boston’s Divas with a Twist, presentation of awards, and finally Rita Moreno’s inspirational story through spoken word and song. Tickets are available in advance only: online at www.hopegardner.org, by calling 978-632-0400, or stopping in at the HOPEful Boutique at 33 Parker Street in Gardner.

In addition to the HOPE Celebrating Women Award, in April, Professor Steele received the Community Leadership Award from the ARC of Opportunity of North Central Massachusetts for her leadership and creativity in launching a sensory-friendly theatre performance for families who support children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities or on the autism spectrum.

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.

 

 

News staff photo by KATIE LANDECK Mount Wachusett Community College nursing students Lori Belliveau and Diana Bronson give a presentation about their recent trip to Haiti and encourage other students to sign up for the Mount’s upcoming trip in January 2016.
Mount Wachusett Community College nursing students Lori Belliveau and Diana Bronson give a presentation about their recent trip to Haiti and encourage other students to sign up for the Mount’s upcoming trip in January 2016.

GARDNER – When the first team of Mount Wachusett Community College nursing students came back from Haiti in January, they all said the same thing: we want to go back.

“There is a lot of beauty (in Haiti),” said nursing student Lori Belliveau while presenting the trip to other nursing students on Monday. “And it makes you think a little bit about what we have versus what they don’t have.”

The nursing students traveled to Haiti with Forward in Health, a locally started nonprofit that is providing health care to 7,500 people in the impoverished Fonde Fred region of Haiti. The trip was organized by Forward in Health cofounder Paula Mulqueen.

The students worked in health clinics, visited orphanages and nursing schools, and also had the chance to explore a little bit of the island nation.

The Mount is planning another trip for next January. The trip costs about $1,600 per person, but students found they were about to raise money to pay for the trip.

“It didn’t cost me anything,” said Ms. Belliveau. “My friends, family and coworkers were very generous.”

There is also talk of creating an exchange program where Mount Wachusett students would have the ability to live with and attend classes with nursing students in Haiti for a week.

Then the Haitian student would be able to attend classes at Mount Wachusett for a week.

Ideally, Mount Wachusett officials said, the students in the exchange program would be able to speak at least a little French.

By the next trip, Mount Wachusett students will be able to work in the clinic that Forward in Health will officially open this summer after years of fundraising and overcoming numerous hurdles, including the devastating earthquake of 2010.

“We are at the brink of opening the clinic doors,” Ms. Mulqueen told the audience. “We are doing a massive inventory and a massive setup. The scheduled date to open is Aug. 4. Great stuff is happening.”

The clinic will include a triage unit and offer permanent medical assistance to the region.

Since Ms. Mulqueen’s first trip to Haiti in 2002, she has traveled to the country 52 times, taking anyone who wanted to go and was willing to work, ranging from high school students to surgeons.

“International nursing is suddenly a hot topic,” she said. “Everyone is now going all over the world to serve.”

When choosing where to go and with whom to serve, Ms. Mulqueen recommends looking into an organization’s history in the country, the sustainability of its work, the compatibility of its objectives with that of the volunteer, and the group’s safety record.

For more information about traveling with Forward in Health, visit forwardinhealth.org.

The Gardner News, Katie Landeck, May 5, 2015

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.

 

AACC conference group photo

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

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

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

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

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

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