MWCC’s 42nd Annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony will take place Thursday, May 21 at 5 p.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center. Students will be welcomed into the profession by having the program’s nursing pin fastened to their lapels by a fellow nurse, a family member, a friend, an alumnus of the program, or a faculty member.
MWCC’s 50th Commencement will take place Wednesday, May 20 at 6 p.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center. Gardner native Kevin Berg, Vice President of Production for the CBS Network in L.A., will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate of Humanities and the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award. This year’s Service Above Self Award will be presented to James O. Garrison, who will also receive an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters. The Phi Theta Kappa honor society is conducting its 12th annual “Project Graduation” food drive. All graduates and their guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the rehearsal or ceremony, which will be donated to the Gardner Community Action Council, the Winchendon Community Action Council, and the Students SOS office.
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.
The academic achievements of MWCC students will be celebrated Thursday, May 14 during the annual Evening of Excellence. The event will take place at the DoubleTree in Leominster and will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and an awards ceremony. Students will be honored with merit and scholarship awards during this special ceremony.
Mount Wachusett Community College’s Summer Business Luncheon Series returns this year with a focus on entrepreneurship and marketing for small businesses, as well as an overview for businesses of all sizes interested in applying for state workforce training grants.
The college’s Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development has bundled several professional lunch & learn workshops geared for entrepreneurs, owners of small businesses, managers and nonprofit organizations. All sessions will take place from 12 to 1 p.m. at MWCC’s Leominster Campus, 100 Erdman Way.
“Leaders and managers with entrepreneurial abilities are vital to the sustainability and growth of the economy in Massachusetts,” said Jeremiah Riordon, Associate Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development. “Businesses with 19 employees or less represent 86 percent of all Massachusetts firms, making this summer’s series a perfect training opportunity to help businesses grow for increased profits.”
The series will kick off on June 5 with an information session geared toward businesses of all sizes that are interested in learning more about the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund grant program. This session will provide an overview of General Program Training Grants as well as Consortium Grants, Express Program Training Grants & Technical Assistance Grants. MWCC will highlight client successes in fundable areas such as lean, continuous improvement, leadership, and ESL, as well as other technical and non-technical training areas in healthcare, manufacturing, banking, technology and other industries. This overview will cover the features and benefits of each program, the amount of available funding, and how to apply.
On June 12, the session “Establishing Your Business” will help owners of small businesses determine their tax entity classification and whether they should establish their companies as sole proprietorships, corporations or as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Any option can offer a range of advantages for entrepreneurs, however a corporation or LLC protects entrepreneurs’ personal assets.
On June 19, the session “Three Tips for a Better Business Website” will provide participants with the essential ingredients needed to enhance their websites to drive business. This non-technical session will focus on ideas and suggestions for improving business websites. Attendees will leave the workshop with understanding the importance of good web design.
On July 10, the session “Marketing Communications” will help businesses discover an approach to developing brochures using design elements to enhance interest and create impact. This workshop is designed to encourage participants to consider branding and how customer perceptions affect business.
On July 24, the session “Marketing and Sales on a Lean Budget” will help businesses develop an overall online prospecting strategy that facilitates growth of revenue and meets sales objectives. With an emphasis on direct marketing, participants will discover proven, essential campaign strategies for finding and acquiring new customers and generating sales.
On August 7, the session “Legal Dos and Don’ts” will provide the fundamental rules and regulations that ensure your business is a safe and healthy place to work. Participants will learn more about critical compliance requirements, as well as scenarios to avoid from a seasoned attorney specializing in business law.
On August 21, “Small Business Consulting Advice,” a Q&A session, invites small businesses to take advantage of technical assistance support. This session is geared toward micro-enterprises (five employees or less) and will highlight business counseling assistance and resources available.
The cost for each session is $15 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 mwcc.edu/noncredit, by phone at 978-630-9575, or email email@example.com.
GARDNER – Nurses and those interested in a career in nursing are invited to celebrate National Nurses’ Week on Tuesday, May 12 with the American Nurse Project, hosted by Mount Wachusett Community College’s School of Health Professions, Public Service Programs and Social Sciences. Nurses attending the free event may apply for continuing education credits through nurse.com.
The documentary explores some of the biggest issues facing this country – aging, war, poverty, prisons – through the experiences of five nurses at work. The film premiered to sold-out crowds during National Nurses’ Week in 2014. Screenings will take place at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the MWCC Fine Arts Center theater.
The photographs and narratives aim to inspire audiences to think about nurses in a way that they may never have before, with a newfound appreciation for this indispensable figure on the front lines of health and healthcare today: the American nurse.
Following the 2 and 5:30 p.m. showings, college representatives will be available to answer questions regarding education programs offered at Mount Wachusett. A mini job fair with several healthcare employers will take place theater lobby, and advisors from the health programs will be available to answer questions.
Register online at mwcc.edu/wf/american-nurse or call 978-630-9124.
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.
Mount Wachusett Community College has scheduled a series of information sessions at its Gardner campus for fall enrollment into two of its popular dual enrollment programs: the Pathways Early College Innovation School and the Gateway to College program.
Dual enrollment students complete requirements for their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credits or completing an associate degree. School choice funding covers the cost of tuition and fees of both programs, which are offered in partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District.
One of the first two innovation schools created in Massachusetts, the Pathways Early College Innovation School provides motivated high school juniors and home schooled students the opportunity to accelerate the pace of their academic careers by simultaneously earning an associate degree and their high school diploma.
To be eligible for Pathways, students must live in Massachusetts, possess a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0, be at least 16 years old and entering grade 11 by the start of the fall semester, and be recommended by the sending school.
Students must attend a Pathways information session and have current Accuplacer scores in order to apply. Upcoming information sessions for the Pathways school will take place on May 12 and 14; June 16 and 18; and July 7 and 9. The first day of each session provides the information about the school, and the second day of each session includes the Accuplacer test.
MWCC’s Gateway to College program, established in 2005 as the first Gateway site in New England, provides a second chance for students ages 16 to 21 who have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out. Students simultaneously earn their high school diploma as well as college credits toward an academic degree or certificate. The majority of the graduates continue their education at MWCC or at another college or university.
Gateway applicants must attend a three-day information session to be considered for the program. Upcoming Gateway information sessions will take place on May 12, 13 and 15; June 2, 3 and 5; June 16, 17 and 19; ; July 7, 8 and 10; Aug 4, 5 and 7; and August 18, 19 and 21.
To register for an upcoming information session in either program, or for more details about the programs, contact MWCC’s Division of Access & Transition at 978-630-9248 or visit mwcc.edu/access.
Get our your dictionaries! The Tony Award winning musical comedy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, one of Broadway’s most buzzed about hits, opens on May 1 at Theatre at the Mount.
The musical comedy follows six young people in the throes of puberty, who are overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, as they learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. At each performance, four audience volunteers are selected and invited on stage to participate in the Bee, making each performance unique.
The cast features Liz Vettese (Marcy Park), Chris Casello (Chip Tolentino), Ryann Brown (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre), Lynne Dumais (Olive Ostrovsky), Kyle Carlson (Mitch Mahoney), Doug Dame (Leaf Coneybear), Christiaan Stone (Vice-Principal Douglas Panch), Marcus Provost (William Barfee), Kate Sheridan (Rona Lisa Perretti).
Performances are May 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and May 3 at 2 p.m.. Tickets are available by calling the Theatre at the Mount Box Office at 978-630-9388 or online at www.mwcc.edu/tam
State officials, legislators and business and community leaders with join the MWCC community on Earth Day, April 22, to celebrate the start of construction of the college’s new $41 million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building. The Building Beyond Tomorrow ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Commons Area of the Gardner campus.
Carol Gladstone, Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, and President Daniel M. Asquino will be among the featured speakers.
“This is another exciting milestone in the history of Mount Wachusett Community College,” said President Asquino. “This project supports trends in teaching and learning and reflects the national and statewide STEM initiatives while providing the best possible education for our students.”
Site preparation work began in March on the 44,000-square-foot addition and renovations to the Arthur F. Haley Academic Center. The Commonwealth is investing $38 million in the project to support the academic needs in North Central Massachusetts. The project will be one of the largest in North Worcester County.
Amenities will include eight new classrooms and laboratories, four lab prep rooms, 24 new faculty offices, student study space and interior glass walls to highlight STEM student innovation. New laboratory equipment, including projection microscopes with 60-inch flat screen monitors, will be acquired through a $500,000 grant the college received from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
Designed by Boston-based Architerra, Inc. to meet gold LEED certification for efficiency and sustainability, the new building will contain energy-efficient features related to heating, exhaust, lighting and plumbing to tie in with the college’s sustainability initiatives.
Upgrades to audio/visual equipment and enhanced wireless capabilities in labs and open areas, are also among the features, as well as a new 2,300-square-foot greenhouse for science programs. Improvements to the Haley Academic Center will include a new visitor entrance, a multi-purpose room, an academic advising suite, a refurbished student-centered campus hub and increased accessibility to the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.