Winter Fest Fair

November 12, 2015

MWCC’s annual Winter Fest Fair will take place Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the South Cafe. Student clubs and organizations will raffle off decorated wreathes, and various campus departments will raffle off theme baskets, with proceeds from both raffles to benefit the Emergency Student Loan Fund. Crafters and vendors will have a variety of items for sale. The event is sponsored by the Student Life Office and Student Services.

ECE Reunion & Gathering

November 10, 2015

Alumni of MWCC’s Early Childhood Education program are invited to participate in an evening of friendship, inspiration, networking and fun on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education, which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. The event features a Dr. Seuss-inspired them, “Oh the places you’ll go!” Reservations are not required.


Join the MWCC Alumni Network for its first Alumni After Hours event on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Rye & Thyme Tavern & Grill, 14 Monument Square in Leominster. Attendance is free for MWCC alumni.

The event will include a presentation by Matt Ward, President and CEO of InConcert WebSolutions, who will share ideas and suggestions for improving business websites. Refreshments will be served. To register, email or call 978-630-9306.


Linda CoyneMount Wachusett Community College is offering free workshops this fall for adult learners interested in earning a college degree.

MWCC’s Adult College Experience (ACE) program features a variety of workshops designed to guide adult learners through the steps of applying for college and financial aid, selecting courses, managing coursework and balancing school with work and family life. All participants attending the first session will receive a free gift, and participants attending all four workshops will be eligible to win a free, three-credit course.

“Each year, millions of adult students return to college to expand their career options, change careers, or fulfill a long-held dream of earning a degree. We developed the ACE program at Mount Wachusett to provide students with a roadmap to follow to make their transition to higher education as seamless as possible,” said Marcia Rosbury-Henne, Dean of Admissions and Enrollment.

The four-session ACE program, geared toward adult learners age 24 and above, starts Thursday, Nov. 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with the workshop “Beginning Your College Journey.” During this workshop, students will review the application and enrollment process and complete their application to begin classes in January during the spring 2016 semester. A panel of MWCC alumni who returned to college as adults balancing work, family and studies, will share their stories and answer questions.

The second session, “College Survival 101” will take place Thursday, Nov. 12 from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. Participants will learn about the requirements of college courses and receive instruction on technology and other tools for achieving college success.

The session, “Getting Financial Aid & Enrollment Express,” will take place Thursday, Nov. 19 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Students will receive assistance reviewing and understanding the components of their financial aid package, including knowing the difference between loans, grants, scholarships and work study aid.

The series concludes on Thursday Dec. 3 with the session “Ready, Set, Go!” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. During this final session, students will develop the basis of their academic plan and develop a solid understanding of their program of study and the academic requirements for graduation. The session will end with a pizza party celebration and a drawing for a free, three-credit course.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment of students age 25 and above increased by 42 percent between 2000 and 2010 and is predicted to increase by another 20 percent by 2020. In comparison, enrollment of college students age 24 and under increased by 34 percent between 2000 and 2010, and is expected to increase 11 percent by 2020.

To register for MWCC’s free ACE program, contact the admissions office at 978-630-9110 or email Registration can also be completed online at

Wendy Johnson 2Ashburnham native Wendy Johnston will present “Reflections from the Pacific Trail: How Lessons Learned from One Woman’s Journey Apply to Us All,” on Tuesday, Oct 27 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the North Café at Mount Wachusett Community College. The free event is open to the public.

From April to September of 2013, Ms. Johnston backpacked the entire 2,700 mile long Pacific Crest Trail from the U.S./Mexican Border to the U.S./Canadian border through California, Oregon, and Washington.

During her presentation, she will discuss the reasons she hikes long trails, some of the adversity she has overcome both in life and on the trail, and the universal lessons she has learned on her long hikes. She will also show a slideshow of photos taken along her PCT hike. A question and answer session will follow.

The event is sponsored by the LaChance Library, the MWCC Fitness & Wellness Center, and the office of Student Life.

Monsters on the Big Screen

October 16, 2015

“Monsters on the Big Screen,” a presentation by Fitchburg State University film and English Professor Joseph Moswer, will take place Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the North Café. The presentation is one of several planned this fall as part of the MWCC Humanities Project, focusing this year on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.


Frankenstein image - JPG

An image of Frankenstein’s creature created by MWCC Graphic and Interactive Design alumnus Dylan Safford to illustrate the MWCC Humanities Project second-year theme.

Mount Wachusett Community College Humanities Project, “Myths, Monsters, and Modern Science: Frankenstein’s Legacy,” continues with a free panel presentation and discussion on contemporary science.

“Frankenscience? The Myths and Realities of Contemporary Science,” will take place Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Levi Heywood Memorial Library in Gardner. Panelists include Lara Dowland, chair of MWCC’s biotechnology/biomanufacturing program, and MWCC biology professors Thomas Montagno, Carrie Arnold and Heather Conn. Topics will include cloning, transplantation, prosthetics, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture and the food supply.

The second year of the Humanities Project takes an in-depth look at Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein, and its relevance in today’s world. Throughout the year, free events will take place at the college’s Gardner campus and in the community at public libraries and other venues. The MWCC Humanities Project is funded through a matching $500,000 grant the college received from the National Endowment for the Humanities to deepen and sustain quality humanities programming and curriculum throughout North Central Massachusetts.

Other fall  events include “Monsters on the Big Screen,” a lecture by Fitchburg State University film and English Professor Joseph Moser Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Gardner campus North Café; a Halloween Hike for the Humanities, fundraiser for the matching NEH grant, on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton; a screening of Kenneth Branagh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein on Nov. 5 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in MWCC’s North Cafe; a lecture “Mary Shelley: The Woman Behind the Monster,” with Tufts University Professor Sonia Hofkosh on Nov. 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Leominster Public Library; and a brown bag lunch discussion,What Makes a Monster?” on Nov. 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at MWCC’s Gardner campus, room 345.

All events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. For more information visit


Fitness Center Goes Pink

October 9, 2015

The Fitness & Wellness Center at Mount Wachusett Community College is turning pink for the day on Wednesday, Oct. 14 in support of national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Members and non-members who visit wearing pink are invited to participate in a free Kick-boxing Cancer Class at 9:30 a.m., with high- and low-level options for people of all ages.

Non-members in pink can also receive a day-pass to use the center’s fitness equipment or participate in another class that day during the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Members and visitors will be entered in a raffle to win a three-month membership. Members who stop by wearing pink will also be entered to win a sport theme gift basket and a Fit Bit.

For more information about the center, visit or call 978-630-9212.
Dr Amjad Bahnassi

Dr. Amjad Bahnassi

Mount Wachusett Community College and Heywood Healthcare are presenting an open forum, “Radical vs. Real: Islam in the Modern World,” on Monday, Oct. 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the South Café at MWCC’s Gardner campus. This forum is free and open to the public.

The event stemmed from discussions between Heywood Healthcare President Winfield Brown, MWCC President Daniel Asquino, Heywood physician Dr. Tariq Malik and others on promoting understanding about the difference between the Muslim faith and the violent, radical organizations making global headlines.

Dr Saleem Khanani

Dr. Saleem Khanani

Topics will include an overview of Islam, the world’s second largest religion; political unrest in the Islamic Middle East; and radical Islam vs. real Islam; followed by a question and answer session. The forum will be led by members of the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, who have participated in similar dialogues at colleges, libraries and other venues throughout Worcester County.The speakers, who are all U.S. citizens, include Dr. Saleem Khanani, a hematologist and oncologist affiliated with Heywood Healthcare and St. Vincent Cancer and Wellness Center in Worcester; Noman Khanani, teacher of Islamic studies; and Dr. Amjad Bahnassi, medical director of Behavioral Health Services in Worcester. MWCC Legal Studies Professor James Korman is serving as moderator. Light refreshments will be served.

Noman Khanani

Noman Khanani

“There are so many misconceptions about the religion and the people, Muslims,” Dr. Khanani said. “The goal of the forum is to motivate the audience to learn about Islam directly from Islamic resources, rather than be influenced by the media hype. The activities of the minority do not reflect the beliefs of the majority.”Dr. Khanani was born and raised in Pakistan, where he graduated from medical school. In 1992, he emigrated to the U.S., where he completed his residency at St. Vincent’s and later worked at UMass Medical Center.

His son, Noman Khanani, is a graduate of Hartford Seminary’s master’s in Islamic Studies Program with a concentration in Muslim-Christian Relations and also holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He teaches and presents sermons in Muslim communities throughout central Massachusetts.

Dr. Bahnassi was born in Syria, where he graduated from medical school. He was trained in psychiatry at UMass Medical Center, and is an assistant professor of psychiatry at UMass Medical School.

“Through our discussions with local leaders, we are presenting this forum to bring a better understanding of the Muslim faith to our students, professors and staff, as well as our greater community,” said President Asquino.

“It is my hope that this open forum will help clarify many misconceptions about Islam, the second largest religion throughout the world, while helping us to embrace the diverse cultural fabric which is the hallmark of our country and our region,” said Mr. Brown.

Transfer Fair

September 25, 2015

MWCC is hosting a free transfer fair on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Gardner campus, South Café. Representatives from more than 40 colleges and universities will be on hand to discuss transfer options with MWCC students and alumni interested in continuing on for a bachelor’s degree. Students are advised to bring copies of their unofficial transcript for review.

For more information, contact Transfer/Academic Counselor Limari Rivera at 978-630-9197 or visit