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The Mount Wachusett Community College Humanities Project continues with a book discussion on Thoreau's modern connection to student debt.

The Mount Wachusett Community College Humanities Project continues Nov. 6 with a book discussion on Thoreau’s modern connection to student debt.

One author’s unconventional approach to repaying his student loans will be the focus of a Nov. 6 event for the Mount Wachusett Community College Humanities Project, supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities challenge grant.

Leominster Public Library will host a book discussion of Ken Ilgunas’ “Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom” from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

In his book, Ilgunas describes adopting Henry David Thoreau’s frugal lifestyle to repay undergraduate student loans and enroll in a master’s program, while using his van as a makeshift dorm and avoiding further debt. The book discussion continues the Humanities Project’s first-year theme, “East Meets West in a Cabin in Concord: Walden and Beyond,” an ongoing discussion of Thoreau’s lasting relevance.

Thoreau famously lived an economical two years in a self-built cabin near Walden Pond in Concord, MA, immersing himself in nature and writing journal entries that would become “Walden.”

The MWCC Humanities Project is a multi-year initiative to integrate annual themes in the humanities into campus curricula and community events. The first year features a slate of free events spotlighting various works written or inspired by Thoreau, as well as related student projects developed by several MWCC professors.

In 2013, MWCC received one of 173 NEH grants, which are awarded to recipients representing the highest level of humanities research and public engagement.

For more information about the MWCC Humanities Project and a full schedule of events, visit http://mwcc.edu/humanitiesproject.

Mount Wachusett Community College pre-engineering student Casey Bortle pilots the college’s new drone during a Math Modeling Initiative presentation to 350 area high school seniors.

Mount Wachusett Community College pre-engineering student Casey Bortle pilots the college’s new drone during a Math Modeling Initiative presentation to 350 area high school seniors.

Mount Wachusett Community College lauded the 350 high school students participating in this year’s Math Modeling Initiative and encouraged them to explore the opportunities available through a college education.

As part of the Oct. 29 event, students and teachers from partnering institutions Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg High School, Leominster High School and Leominster’s Center for Technical Education Innovation witnessed the unveiling of MWCC’s new quadcopter drone.

Through the initiative, MWCC offers the Modeling in Mathematics course to provide essential skills to high school seniors who require developmental math education. The free course emphasizes complex problem solving and the application of math in everyday life and eliminates the need for students to take remedial mathematics upon entering college.

“I want to congratulate you for getting a head start on your mathematics education and thank the faculty and staff who commit to your welfare,” MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino said during his opening remarks. “Our goal is to help you become college-ready so that you can move on to earn your degrees. Math has traditionally been an impediment to students, but by being college-ready, you will be unique.”

Led by MWCC Professor and Math Department Chair Yoav Elinevsky, educators from MWCC’s Access & Transition and Academic Affairs divisions and LHS developed the initiative as a pilot program in 2012. After 116 LHS seniors initially took one of six Modeling in Mathematics sections, MWCC expanded the initiative for the 2014-2015 academic year to include Monty Tech and Fitchburg High.

“Congratulations on being so close to graduating high school and preparing yourself for college and the job market,” Elinevsky said.

To promote the physics department and the importance of mathematics, faculty member Dr. Peter Olszak and students Adam Suzor and Casey Bortle led a demonstration of the quadcopter drone, which hovered for several minutes while displaying a live video feed.

Dean of Students Jason Zelesky, a first-generation college student, emphasized the importance of a college education as an investment in their future. Recruitment Counselor Natasha Robinson, Career/Vocational Education Transition Counselor Shaunti Phillips and Kijah Gordon, academic advisor for STEM programs, discussed the enrollment process, articulation agreements, and the college’s STEM Set Scholarships and STEM Starter Academy.

In addition, chairs from academic departments, including Dan Donovan from computer information systems, John Little from media arts & technology, and Tom Matsuda from art explained their respective programs. Students from the pilot course encouraged their successors to take advantage of the program and continue their educations after graduating high school.

- Cameron Woodcock


Shawn Case, Assistant Professor of Math, participates in Department of Higher Education’s #Memo2MA Twitter campaign highlighting the department’s 2014 Vision Project report.

At a time of rising demand for skilled college graduates in the Commonwealth, the Department of Higher Education’s third annual Vision Project report shows progress being made to raise graduation rates and close achievement gaps among public college and university students in Massachusetts, but also projects a shortage of skilled graduates needed to meet the needs of employers in key industry sectors that fuel economic growth, based on an expected drop in the state’s high school population in the coming years. 

“The Vision Project report provides state leaders with a road map that allows us to think and respond proactively to the issues in higher education we will face in the next decade,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone.”At the same time it allows us to celebrate achievements by our campuses and by the Patrick Administration. There are many points of progress contained in this report, and I am proud that our public colleges and universities share a vision for the future.”

Mount Wachusett Community College made continued strides during the year in several key areas, including new initiatives in area high schools and on campus to help close achievement gaps, such as a new Modeling in Mathematics program launched in three area high schools to prepare students for college-level math courses; the creation of a new bridge program to assist nontraditional students returning to college; and enhanced student support services for veterans, working parents, and students of all ages seeking degrees and careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Additionally, advances in workforce development include new accelerated training programs in advanced manufacturing, continued partnerships with industry, and the creation of a Manufacturing Workforce Certification Center at its Devens campus.

“In order to enhance college access and student success, we work closely with our regional K-12 school systems, as well as provide robust, student-centered programs and initiatives on campus,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. MWCC’s new FY2015 to FY2017 strategic plan, “Embracing Transformation,” focuses on the college’s four strategic, college-wide goals – Access, Success, Learning, and Progress, and the plan is shaped by the key outcomes of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Vision Project, he said.

“Degrees of Urgency: Why Massachusetts Needs More College Graduates Now,” was released this morning before a group of 275 business and civic leaders gathered at the Boston Foundation.  The report, which can be accessed at http://www.mass.edu/visionproject, outlines system and campus-level achievements aligned with the Vision Project goal of leading nationally among state systems of public higher education.

Among the recent gains:

  • One-third of Massachusetts campuses are now meeting or exceeding the Vision Project goal for improvement in six-year graduation/success rates, increases that are well above the national and leading states’ averages.
  • At the University of Massachusetts and state university campuses, the six-year graduation rate gap between White and Latino/a students has narrowed.
  • At community colleges, the rate of enrollment in remedial coursework among Latino/a students has declined, a sign that collaborative work with high schools to align curriculum and close gaps is working.
  • The focus on workforce planning in high-growth industry sectors is yielding results; as an example, the report cites a 34% increase in nurses with bachelor’s degrees (2010-2013), important because research shows that higher education levels result in improved patient outcomes.
  • Mount Wachusett Community College’s was showcased in the report for being among the institutions that have improved student success rates above the national average, as well as its support for student veterans and military families.
  • MWCC alumnus Bryan Sanderson was featured in an article for his efforts to found the college’s Students Serving Our Service office, a peer-to-peer program that is administered through the college’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

Along with citing progress, the report draws attention to a major challenge facing the Commonwealth: declining enrollments at public colleges and universities at a time when the state’s need for more college-educated workers has never been greater.

The report forecasts that by 2020, the system that now educates 70% of high school students who remain in state to attend college will be under-producing needed graduates by a minimum of 55,000 to 65,000, the result of enrollment declines that stem from a drop in the state’s high school population. Within six years, Massachusetts’ high school population will shrink by 9%, a shift from the previous decade which saw a 31% increase in the number of high school graduates. The prior growth helped fuel record enrollments at Massachusetts’ community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses, a boom which has now ended. This fall the public higher education system posted its first decline in enrollment in a decade.

“Today we put forth a major plan to address the state’s need for more college graduates,” said Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education. “This is vital work on behalf of the Commonwealth and we understand that we can only deliver the graduates Massachusetts needs if we are improving our overall academic performance, which campuses are striving to do, and if such efforts receive strong state support.”

At outlined by Commissioner Freeland at the Boston Foundation report release event, the “Big Three Completion Plan” to address the state’s need for more graduates focuses on 1) helping more students succeed in and complete college 2) redoubling efforts to close persistent achievement gaps that keep too many African American and Latino/a students from graduating, and 3) attracting and retaining students who are not being served by the system, including those who currently can’t afford to attend college, those who are choosing to attend college out of state, and adult students who need to finish their degrees.

Despite recent investments by the Patrick Administration, decades of insufficient funding to Massachusetts public higher education have resulted in the Commonwealth ranking no better than average (currently, 26th in the nation) in state support for its public colleges and universities. A report released Tuesday by the Commonwealth’s Higher Education Finance Commission recommended that the public campuses receive significant additional funding tied to performance improvement, and that such support also be linked to campus efforts to achieve greater operating efficiencies.

“The particular needs of this state, more than many other states, demand a first class system of public higher education,” said Charles F. Desmond, Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. “If we hope to reap the economic dividends that come from being an educational leader, Massachusetts must make academic excellence at its public colleges and universities an even higher priority than it is right now.”

“There is clear consensus, Massachusetts must have a national top tier public higher education system to compete in our 21st century economy,” said the Co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, Representative Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland.) “This means greater efficiency and collaboration on the part of our higher education institutions, and strategic investment on par with the states that lead the way in public higher education nationally. This effort will require support from every resident of our Commonwealth. We understand what must be done, and today we affirm the need to act.”

Chris Jason Sinatra Live Big Band

An Oct. 24 performance by Frank Sinatra stylist Chris Jason and the Sinatra Live Big Band raised more than $38,000 to support scholarship funds for MWCC students.

Frank Sinatra stylist Chris Jason and the Sinatra Live Big Band transported a capacity crowd to Las Vegas, 1966, during an Oct. 24 concert sponsored by the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation that raised more than $38,000 for student scholarships.

Making his first appearance at MWCC’s theatre, Jason performed over 20 Sinatra favorites and exchanged quips with audience members in the two-act benefit concert that served as the foundation’s annual fundraiser.

“Students need our financial support now more than ever,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “It was heartening to see so many friends of the college enjoying an evening out with great music, while raising much needed money for student scholarships.”

“On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank those who came out in support of our hard-working students. I applaud all the MWCC staff who worked to bring Chris Jason to the stage for Sinatra at the Mount,” said MWCC Board of Trustees Chair Tina Sbrega.

Established in 1971, the MWCC Foundation currently offers 38 scholarships, 21 for continuing students and 17 for transfer students, to support degree seekers from a range of backgrounds and academic disciplines. Sinatra at the Mount was part of an annual slate of fundraising events that help provide increased access to a college education at MWCC.

“Thanks to a dedicated team at the college, we raised more than $30,000 for our students,” said MWCC Foundation Executive Director Carla Zottoli, “Support from donors and friends helps us award more than $260,000 in scholarships each year.”

“What a great evening,” said Foundation Board Chair Richard Mohnk. “I want to thank Executive Director Carla Zottoli and her team for hosting a flawless event. The music was wonderful, and the evening was for a very good cause – our students.”

After opening with “Come Fly with Me,” Jason crooned through renditions of “Luck Be a Lady,” “Where or When,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” My Way,” “I’ve Got You under My Skin” and “Strangers in the Night.” Shortly into the second act, one couple danced to Jason’s version of “A Summer Wind.”

To cap off the night, the Sinatra tribute artist returned to a standing ovation for one final performance of “New York, New York.”

In paying tribute to Sinatra, Jason adapted songs from the 1966 live album, “Sinatra at the Sands,” and “The Great American Songbook” and infused the artist’s trademark humor into his performance.

- Cameron Woodcock

MWCC student leader John Day received the Dean Sullivan Award at the Community College Student Leadership Association's annual conference in Wakefield.

MWCC student leader John Day received the Dean Sullivan Award at the Community College Student Leadership Association’s annual conference in Wakefield.

Mount Wachusett Community College student leader John Day was recognized for his enthusiasm and dedication, qualities demonstrated by Dean Richard Sullivan, formerly of Cape Cod Community College (CCCC).

Day received the Dean Sullivan Award at the Community College Student Leadership Association’s (CCSLA) annual conference, held Oct. 16 through 17 in Wakefield, months after receiving the MWCC Peter J. Trainor Leadership Award.

As an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, Day recruited 200 volunteers to package over 20,000 meals for the MWCC edition of September’s 19th Annual United Way Day of Caring. He also serves as president of Beyond Str8 and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, as well as treasurer of the Student Government Association (SGA), an ambassador for Saltmoney.org and a mentor for Students Serving Our Students (SOS).

“I am very humbled and touched that my MWCC advisors, particularly Associate Dean of Students Greg Clement, nominated me for this award and put so much thought into the submission letter,” said Day. “Opportunities at MWCC are abundant, and the people I’ve met have led me into the various roles I currently perform.”

“John is an ideal candidate for the Dean Sullivan Award. In a short amount of time, he has become an active participant in student and veteran affairs and a mentor and advocate for students from all backgrounds,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, who spent seven years as Sullivan’s colleague dean at CCCC and also praised Day’s leadership in the Day of Caring. “Dean Sullivan’s number-one concern was always the well-being of his students. He would bend over backwards to help any student in trouble, and John exemplifies these qualities.”

During his two-plus years at MWCC, Day has also served as SGA Vice President, an orientation leader and a work-study employee in the Veterans Success Center.

“John is an exceptional role model for MWCC students. His greatest characteristics are his kindness and energy,” said Clement. “He takes advantage of all the opportunities offered here and encourages other students to do the same. ”

The CCSLA is comprised of all 15 Massachusetts community colleges, as well as New Hampshire Technical Institute and Nashua Community College in New Hampshire.

MWCC faculty, staff and alumni gathered at the summit of Wachusett Mountain after completing the five-mile hike. Participants raised funds to supper the college's Humanities Project.

MWCC faculty, staff and alumni gathered at the summit of Wachusett Mountain after completing the five-mile hike. Participants raised over $5,000 to support the college’s Humanities Project.

With President Daniel M. Asquino leading the way to the summit of Wachusett Mountain, Mount Wachusett Community College began an annual tradition on the mild morning of Saturday, Oct. 18.

In the first “Hike for the Humanities” fundraiser, a group of MWCC faculty, staff and alumni simulated Henry David Thoreau’s 1842 hike of Wachusett Mountain, collectively raising over $5,000 for the college’s Humanities Project.

Under the leadership of English Professor Michelle Valois and Director of Grant Development Heather Layton, MWCC received a $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) challenge grant to strengthen its humanities curriculum through the interdisciplinary project. The first-year theme, “East Meets West in a Cabin in the Woods: Walden and Beyond,” based on Thoreau’s 1854 classic, is being integrated into MWCC courses and community events.

“This is a great day for our college. The turnout speaks volumes about the commitment of our faculty and staff, who were more than willing to support a good cause and a singular purpose,” said President Asquino, the first to complete the five-mile Pine Hill Trail. “We plan to hold this fundraising hike annually for the duration of the Humanities Project to support continued enrichment opportunities for our students and members of the community.”

As the NEH will match all funds raised by 50 percent, MWCC will receive an additional $2,500, adding to its previous total of $225,000.

“The fundraising aspect is important, but this hike goes beyond supporting the Humanities Project,” said Valois, who coordinated the event and initially proposed hiking Wachusett Mountain. “Just as important is the opportunity to build morale among faculty from multiple academic disciplines in a natural and extended-office setting. We very much wanted to capture the spirit of Thoreau, and of course everyone loves to hike.”

“We pursued an NEH grant to engage faculty, staff and students, and this hike, coupled with the four other events to this point, has been exactly what we envisioned,” said Layton. “Through this event to jump-start the Humanities Project, we also hope to communicate to donors that our own staff is thoroughly invested in this initiative.”

Thoreau was selected as the initial focus of the Humanities Project due in part to his affinity for Wachusett Mountain, which he developed through a noteworthy 1842 expedition. Thoreau and his companion, Richard Fuller, walked 34 miles from Concord to the mountain’s summit, moving him to pen the essay “A Walk to Wachusett.”

As MWCC continues its slate of free community events, professors from the disciplines of English, biology, business administration, nursing, sociology, graphic design, early childhood education, photography and math are engaging students in Thoreau-themed activities.

Echoing some of Valois’ sentiments, Associate Professor of Math Festus Kiprono said faculty participants in the hike are simultaneously supporting a “very worthy cause” and promoting “camaraderie and togetherness” across several academic disciplines.

“As a math professor, I felt it was important to participate because this is an interdisciplinary project that helps us provide students with a well-rounded education.” Having scaled Mount Monadnock several times, Kiprono also recognized the hike for its fitness benefits.

Beginning next week, the MWCC Humanities project continues with five additional events during the fall semester. These events include two book discussions of Thoreau-inspired books, a performance by a Thoreau re-enactor, lecture by the executive director of the Thoreau Society, and final student presentations and exhibits.

For a full schedule of events, visit http://mwcc.edu/humanitiesproject.

Olivia Hoblitzelle, author of "Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey Through Alzheimer's," will speak at MWCC in honor of National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.

Olivia Hoblitzelle, author of “Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s,” will speak at MWCC in honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

In recognition of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in November, Mount Wachusett Community College and its Nursing Advisory Board will welcome author and Alzheimer’s caregiver Olivia Hoblitzelle. The presentation is free and open to the public and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 30 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the college’s theater.

Hoblitzelle, whose husband Harrison was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 72, offers a unique perspective on coping with the disease. Guided by their backgrounds in psychology, Buddhist meditations and the wisdom traditions, the Hoblitzelles chose to embrace the diagnosis and their remaining years together. Olivia Hoblitzelle details these experiences in her 2010 book, “Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey through Alzheimer’s.”

As a teacher in the field of behavioral medicine, Olivia Hoblitzelle pioneered the application of meditation, yoga and cognitive therapy into treatment for stress-related and chronic illnesses. In addition, she helped to develop one of the country’s first training programs in mind-body medicine. Prior to his death in 2001, Harrison Hoblitzelle taught comparative literature at Barnard, Columbia and Brandeis Universities and received the Dharmacharya, or senior mediation leader, transmission from Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thict Nhat Han.

Alzheimer’s Disease affects one in nine Americans aged 65 and older and one in three people over the age of 85, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The association also reports that Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers paid an additional $9.3 billion in healthcare costs in 2013.

Upcoming Humanities Project events include a book discussion of“Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father’s Search for the Wild” and a performance by Thoreau re-enactor Richard Smith

Upcoming Humanities Project events include a book discussion of“Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father’s Search for the Wild” and a performance by Thoreau re-enactor Richard Smith.

The Mount Wachusett Community College Humanities Project, focusing this year on the lasting relevance of Henry David Thoreau, moves to the North Quabbin region on Tuesday, Oct. 28. Athol Public Library will host a book discussion of “Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father’s Search for the Wild” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Athol Public Library.

On Thursday, Oct. 30, the program returns to MWCC’s Gardner campus with a performance by Thoreau re-enactor Richard Smith of the Thoreau Society from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the college’s theater.

In his book Cabin Fever, author Tom Montgomery Fate documents his own life, drawing inspiration from the philosophies of writer and abolitionist Thoreau and applying them to the present day. In perhaps his most literal application of Thoreau’s lifestyle, Fate divides his time between his family’s Chicago home and a cabin in the Michigan woods, which he built with the help of friends. Thoreau famously lived for two years in a self-built cabin near Walden Pond in Concord, MA, immersing himself in nature and writing the book “Walden.”

Originally from Ohio, Thoreau re-enactor Richard Smith is also a regular at Walden Pond and the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering and has performed at schools, colleges and historical venues throughout the country.

A Massachusetts-bred writer, philosopher and naturalist, Thoreau was a progressive thinker during the 1800s, opposing both slavery and the Mexican-American War. His refusal to pay the poll tax, which was imposed on all adults within a community and helped fund slavery, landed him in jail for one night in 1842. Known for his blunt honesty and sense of humor, Thoreau was also a disciple of Ralph Waldo Emerson and a lover of the natural world, even labeling Mount Wachusett “the observatory of the state.”

Established through a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the MWCC Humanities Project will feature a full slate of free events spotlighting various works written or inspired by Thoreau. The project also includes a campus-wide initiative at MWCC, as the college works to integrate enduring themes raised by Thoreau into multiple academic disciplines and curricula.

For more information about the MWCC Humanities Project and a full schedule of events, visit http://mwcc.edu/humanitiesproject.

MWCC student Louis Ayisi, seen here with Governor Deval Patrick, represented his school at the Department of Higher Education's "Go Public!" event in Worcester

Gov. Deval Patrick and MWCC pre-engineering student Louis Ayisi at the Department of Higher Education’s Go Public! event in Worcester.

Mount Wachusett Community College pre-engineering and Honors Program student Louis Ayisi delivered one of six student speeches to a large assembly at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education “Go Public!” event held Oct 15 at Worcester’s North High School. With Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary of Education Matthew Malone on hand, Ayisi helped showcase MWCC to 350 high school seniors from Worcester’s North, South and Burncoat high schools.“Go Public!” brings together impending graduates at high schools throughout the state, promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs and the merits of an education at one of the Commonwealth’s 29 public campuses.

Ayisi, who emigrated from Ghana to the United States seven months ago, has found his niche at MWCC and in North Central Massachusetts. Two semesters into his college education, he has maintained a 4.0 GPA while also volunteering as a math tutor at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster.

“Your past is an experience, and today is an experiment. So use your past in your experiment to achieve your expectation,” he said, while detailing his personal, academic and community-engagement experiences over the last seven months.

Following his speech, Ayisi joined MWCC admissions representatives at the subsequent college fair, which also featured demonstrations of STEM-related subjects. Additional student speakers represented UMass Medical School, UMass Lowell, Quinsigamond Community College, Fitchburg State University and Worcester State University.

The event was co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and GEAR UP, a federally funded program providing early-college awareness activities to more than 7,000 students in seven high-poverty districts.

Administrators from Nepal's Far-Western University selected MWCC as one of a handful of stops on a multi-college US tour.

Administrators from Nepal’s Far-Western University selected MWCC as one of a handful of stops on a multi-college US tour.

Mount Wachusett Community College welcomed a delegation of six Nepalese educators seeking exposure to the best practices in higher-education administration on a multi-college US tour. Far-Western University in Nepal was established in 2010, and top administrators selected MWCC due in large part to its commitment to sustainability, as well as its applicable educational models and comparable rural setting.

MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino and vice presidents from several campus departments highlighted such topics as modern curriculum building, student services, grading systems and foreign-exchange programs. Following the meeting in MWCC’s Murphy Room, administrators from Far-Western University toured the campus and specifically the biomass facility, which converts woodchips into heating and electricity.

“We had a very fruitful discussion with our colleagues from Far-Western University in Nepal today,” said President Asquino, who was presented with a Dhaka topi, a popular Nepalese hat.  “We shared thoughts on curriculum teaching and learning. Our students, faculty and staff were able to exchange ideas that will inform the future of both of our institutions.”

Representing Far-Western University were Dr. Narad Awasthi, dean of Faculty of Education; Dr. Bhawani Chand, dean of Faculty of Science and Technology; Bharati Joshi, dean of Faculty of Management; Registrar and Professor Hem Raj Pant; Dr. Tek Raj Pant, dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Controller of Examinations Kumar Thapa.

During their tour, administrators received a thorough overview of MWCC’s wind turbines, biomass-heating system and solar-energy systems, all of which will help to inform future sustainability practices at the Nepalese university.

Far-Western University hopes to increase its own conservation efforts in an area where deforestation has become commonplace, said Registrar Raj Pant. Raj Pant also said that the Far-Western campus receives a great deal of wind, and university officials aim to harness this resource and create a similar energy output to that of MWCC.

Based on their guests’ additional interests, MWCC leaders explained specific campus departments and services, including Online Learning and the corresponding Massachusetts Colleges Online, Disability Services, Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development and the Visions and Rx Programs.

The International Center of Worcester and Executive Director Royce Anderson coordinated the Massachusetts portion of the trip, which will also include stops at Worcester State and Clark Universities.