Events

Black Frankenstein bookElizabeth Young, author of Black Frankenstein: The Making of an American Metaphor, will present an author’s talk on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Fitchburg Art Museum. The event, sponsored by Mount Wachusett Community College’s Humanities Project through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is free and open to the public.

The theme of this year’s MWCC Humanities Project, “Myths, Monsters, and Modern Science: Frankenstein’s Legacy,” takes an in-depth look at Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, and its impact in the modern era. For all the scholarship devoted to Shelley’s English novel, there has been surprisingly little attention paid to its role in American culture, and virtually none to its racial resonances in the United States.

In Black Frankenstein, Young identifies and interprets the figure of a black American Frankenstein monster as it appears with surprising frequency throughout 19th and 20th century U.S. culture, in fiction, film, essays, oratory, painting, and other media, and in works by both whites and African Americans.

The black Frankenstein’s monster has served as a powerful metaphor for reinforcing racial hierarchy and as an even more powerful metaphor for shaping anti-racist critique. Illuminating the power of parody and reappropriation, the book tells the story of a metaphor that continues to matter to literature, culture, aesthetics, and politics.

Young, a professor of English and gender studies at Mount Holyoke College, is also the author of Disarming the Nation: Women’s Writing and the American Civic War, and co-author, with Anthony W. Lee, of On Alexander Gardner’s “Photographic Sketch Book” of the Civil War.

For more information about upcoming events, visit mwcc.edu/humanitiesproject.

AHA Hands Only CPRThe Student Nurses Association at Mount Wachusett Community College is partnering with the American Heart Association to offer free, “Hands-Only CPR” training on February 22 and February 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gardner campus, South Cafe.

MWCC nursing students trained in CPR are taking part in the CPR Community-Wide Challenge, sponsored through the American Heart Association’s Central Massachusetts division. Throughout February, participating colleges and universities in Worcester County are training students, faculty, staff and community members in the life-saving skills of Hands-Only CPR to promote heart health and focus on saving lives.

According to the AHA, more than 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year, and about 90 percent of those victims die, often because bystanders don’t know how to start CPR or are afraid they’ll do something wrong. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting, such as at home, at work or in a park.

The CPR Community-Wide Challenge training at is being conducted by student groups with equipment donated by the American Heart Association and the corporate sponsors of the challenge. The challenge is locally sponsored by UMass Memorial Medical Center and Medstar Ambulance. To learn more about CPR and local CPR classes, visit, www.heart.org/cpr.

 

Mount Wachusett Community College is launching its new public forum, the Tea Time Speaker Series, with a panel presentation exploring obstacles men of color face in today’s society, workforce and education system.

The first forum of the series, a Men of Color panel presentation and Black History Month luncheon, will take place Monday, Feb. 29 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in the North Café of MWCC’s Gardner campus. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

Panelists include University of Massachusetts Medical School: Brian Lewis, Ph.D., associate dean for student diversity and associate professor in the Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology department at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Jesse Edwards, director of diversity and equal opportunity at UMass Medical School; Train Wu, senior outreach specialist/career coach with MWCC’s Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program; and Eric Rodriguez, Lead Organizer at United Neighbors of Fitchburg.

The forum is sponsored by MWCC’s Diversity Consortium, Gateway to College program and the National Workforce Diversity Pipeline program, a new initiative between the college and the Fitchburg and Leominster public school districts funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health for students interested in healthcare careers.

To reserve a seat, contact Sharmese Gunn at 978-630-9493 or sgunn@mwcc.mass.edu. The Tea Time Speakers Series will take place on the last Monday of the month throughout the spring semester.

 

Mount Wachusett Community College’s Theatre at the Mount opens its spring 2016 season with the Tony Award winning musical, Cabaret. Performances are February 26 and 27, and March 4 and 5 at 8 p.m.; and March 6 at 2 p.m. This production will take place at Gardner High School, as renovations to the theatre continues.

Step into the dark and decadent Kit Kat Club where excitement is high and inhibitions are low as cabaret singer Sally Bowles and her American lover play out their romance while the Nazi party rises to power in Germany. This award-winning musical features classic Kander and Ebb songs like “Maybe This Time,” “Money,” and of course, “Cabaret.”

Tickets are $22 for evening performances, $17 for the matinee and $15 for students and may be purchased at the TAM box office at 978 630-9388 or online at http://mwcc.edu/tam.

Spring Film Series

February 4, 2016

Civil rights, autism, cyber-bullying and climate change are among the topics that will be examined during Mount Wachusett Community College’s free spring 2016 film series, sponsored by the office of Student Life.

All films are open to the public and begin at 12:30 p.m. in room W11 at MWCC’s Gardner campus, unless otherwise noted.

The series begins with Freedom Summer on February 24 in room W11. The 2014 documentary takes a look back at the summer of 1964 when more than 700 student activities took segregated Mississippi by storm, registering voters, creating freedom schools and establishing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

The series continues on March 2 with A Brave Heart: the Lizzie Velasquez Story. The 2015 documentary about the inspiring journey of 26-year-old, 58-pound Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist. Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, Velasquez was first bullied as a child in school, then as a teenager when she discovered a YouTube video labeling her “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” The film follows Lizzie’s physical and emotional journey to her multi-million viewed TEDx talk to Capitol Hill, where she lobbies for the first federal anti-bullying bill.

On March 30, the 2015 documentary (Dis) Honesty – The Truth About Lies, will be screened. The film explores how and why people lie. From little white lies to devastating deceits, people share on camera the true stories of lies they’ve told. Behavioral scientist Dan Ariely brings guides viewers in discovering the complicated truths about lies.

On April 5, Mel Brooks’ classic 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein will be screened in the college’s North Café. Gene Wilder stars as the American grandson of the infamous scientist. After inheriting the estate in Transylvania, Dr. Frankenstein recreates his grandfather’s experiment with the help of servants Igor, Inga and the fearsome Frau Blucher.

The series continues on April 13 with This Changes Everything, inspired by Naomi Klein’s international nonfiction bestseller of the same name focusing on climate change. The film presents seven powerful portraits of communities, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there.

The film series concludes on April 27 with A Mile in His Shoes, in recognition of April as national Autism Awareness Month. Based on the book, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, the film follows the story of 18-year-old Mickey, who has autism. He lives hidden away on a farm where he practices throwing apples at an amazing speed, catching the eye of a minor league scout.

Black Frankenstein bookThough the calendar says it’s the dead of winter, Frankenstein’s monster is still alive as Mount Wachusett Community College’s Humanities Project continues its series “Myths, Monsters, and Modern Science: Frankenstein’s Legacy” through April.

Sponsored through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, this year’s theme takes an in-depth look at Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, and its impact in the modern era. Free events will take place at MWCC’s Gardner campus and in the community

On Wednesday, February 17, Professor Robert Schwartz from Mount Holyoke College will present “Historical Perspectives on Frankenstein” from 12:30-1:30 pm in MWCC’s North Café.

Elizabeth Young, author of Black Frankenstein: The Making of an American Metaphor, and a professor of English and gender studies at Mount Holyoke College, will speak Thursday, Feb. 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Fitchburg Art Museum. In her book, Young identifies and interprets the figure of a black American Frankenstein monster as it appears throughout 19th and 20th-century U.S. culture in fiction, film, essays, painting and other media.

On Saturday, March 5, from 11-5, Professor Joseph Moser of Fitchburg State University will present two film versions of Frankenstein: James Whale’s 1931 classic starring Boris Karloff, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, directed by Kenneth Branagh in 1994. This program, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Leominster Library, includes a light lunch between films. Registration to this event is required and can be made online through the Calendar of Events at www.leominsterlibrary.org or by calling the library’s information desk at 978-534-7522, ext. 3.

On Thursday, March 24, MWCC Assistant Professor of Philosophy Daniel Soucy and UMass doctoral candidate Shelley Errington Nicholson, director of community learning with MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, will discuss, “Girls and Their Ghost Stories: Feminism, Philosophy, and Frankenstein,” at the Athol Public Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

In April, two final events are scheduled in the North Café at MWCC: on Tuesday, April 5, Mel Brooks’ parody, Young Frankenstein, will be shown from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., and on Wednesday, April 27, MWCC students will present Frankenstein-themed projects from the 2015-2016 academic year.

Pete Shungu

Musician, poet and rapper Peter Shungu, aka Afro D, kicks off Black History Month at MWCC with a performance on Feb. 10.

Black History Month is observed as a remembrance of important people and events in the history of African Americans. In recognition, MWCC is hosting several events throughout the month of February at its Gardner campus and in the community. All events are free and open to the public.

The series of events begins on Wednesday, Feb. 10 with a performance by Afro D (Peter Shungu) a spoken word poet, rapper, trumpet player, educator and activist who uses performance art as a medium to promote reflection, understanding and community building. Shungu will perform from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the South Café at MWCC’s Gardner campus. The event is sponsored by MWCC’s office of Student Life.

The Bamidele Dancers and Drummers returns to the college to perform on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the South Café. The BDD are art educators, composers, musicians, dancers and choreographers from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean who are dedicated to the preservation of African and African-rooted cultures through dance, music and song. Members have expertise in African, Caribbean and Brazilian culture. The event is sponsored by MWCC’s office of Student Life.

On Wednesday, February 24, the film “Freedom Summer” will be shown in the Wetmore Center, room W11, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Sponsored by Student Life and the ALANA Club, the film looks back at the summer of 1964 when more than 700 student activists took segregated Mississippi by storm, registering voters, creating freedom schools and establishing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Members of ALANA will also host a voter registration drive during this event.

Black Frankenstein bookElizabeth Young, author of Black Frankenstein: The Making of an American Metaphor, will give a presentation on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Fitchburg Art Museum. She is a professor of English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College. In this book, Young identifies and interprets the figure of a black American Frankenstein monster as it appears throughout 19th and 20th-century U.S. culture in fiction, film, essays, painting and other media.

The black Frankenstein’s monster has served as a powerful metaphor for reinforcing racial hierarchy, and an even more powerful metaphor for shaping anti-racist critique. Young’s lecture is part of the ongoing MWCC Humanities Project, sponsored through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Now in its second year, the Humanities Project is focusing this year on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its relevance today.

The series of events concludes with a Men of Color Panel and Black History Month luncheon on Monday, Feb. 29 beginning at noon in MWCC’s North Café. The panel presentation will explore obstacles men of color face in today’s society, workforce and education system. Panelists include University of Massachusetts Medical School: Brian Lewis, Ph.D., associate dean for student diversity and associate professor in the Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology department at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Jesse Edwards, director of diversity and equal opportunity at UMass Medical School; Train Wu, senior outreach specialist/career coach with MWCC’s Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program; and Eric Rodriguez, Lead Organizer at United Neighbors of Fitchburg.

The presentation is sponsored by MWCC’s Diversity Consortium, Gateway to College and the Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. Seating to the panel presentation and luncheon is limited. To reserve a seat, call 978-630-9143.

L to R: Jim Adams, VP/Regional Business Advisor at Enterprise Bank; Daniel M. Asquino, President of MWCC; Tina Sbrega, Chair of MWCC's Board of Trustees

L to R: Jim Adams, VP/Regional Business Advisor at Enterprise Bank; Daniel M. Asquino, President of MWCC; Tina Sbrega, Chair of MWCC’s Board of Trustees

With toes tapping and fingers snapping, an audience of nearly 500 grooved to the soulful songs of the Motown era during a benefit performance Friday, Jan. 22 that raised more than $100,000 to support student scholarships and youth programs in the region.

The “Magic of Motown at the Mount” benefit, co-sponsored by the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster, took place in the college’s newly renovated Theatre at the Mount.

The five-person cast of singers and dancers recreated the harmonies, dance moves, stylish looks and legendary musicianship of the era, including the hits Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the Isley Brothers and others.

“It was heartening to see so many people enjoying an evening of fantastic entertainment while supporting our college students and area youth,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

Established in 1971, the MWCC Foundation now offers 38 scholarships for continuing students and transfer students pursuing certificates and degrees in a wide range of academic disciplines. More than $260,000 is awarded to students annually.

The Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster has worked in youth development since 2001. A STEAM- (science, technology, engineering, art and math) focused club, it serves young people ages 8 to 18 from many economic, social and family circumstances.

“We are truly grateful to Mount Wachusett Community College, President Asquino and Theatre at the Mount for coordinating another spectacular community event,” said Donata Martin, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club. “The music was superb and the community’s support for our organization is so greatly appreciated.”

Event sponsors were Dr. Daniel Asquino and Alberta DelPrete; Advanced Cable Ties, The Ronald M. Ansin Foundation, Enterprise Bank; Heat Trace Products, LLC; Heywood Hospital; IC Federal Credit Union; Fidelity Bank; UMass Memorial HealthAlliance Hospital; Bemis and Associates; Clementi Family Trust; GFA Federal Credit Union; Hometown Bank; Workers’ Credit Union; Rollstone Bank & Trust; Medical Associates Pediatrics; Geosearch Inc.; Leominster Credit Union; Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School; North Middlesex Savings Bank; Royal Steam Heater Co.;

Shawmut Design & Construction; Simonds International; Tyco SimplexGrinnell; Anderson, Bagley and Mayo Insurance; Scot and Janice Barrett; Dunkin Donuts KCMC Management; Fitchburg State University; Molds International & Consulting Co. Inc; Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Moran, Jr.; Zottoli Family Trust; Avidia Bank; Becker College; Commonfund Securities, Inc.; Geronimo Properties; GVNA HealthCare, Inc.; Raymond and Susan Martino; W.E. Aubuchon Foundation; and media sponsor the Sentinel & Enterprise.

The office of Student Life and the Campus Activities Team for Students (CATS) will host the annual Spring Semester Welcome Activities Fair on Thursday, January 29 in the South Cafe. The event includes free airbrush winter hats, personalized name posters and Mardi Gras mask making from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and a Student Club and Information Expo from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

 

Final-MWCC-Graduation-HatMount Wachusett Community College, the Athol Area YMCA and the Athol Public Library are teaming up to offer “3 for 3 College Readiness,” a series of three free workshops on the third Tuesday of the month from January through March. The sessions are geared toward adult learners of all ages.

The first session, “College Planning 101: Investing in your Future,” will take place January 19 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Athol Area YMCA. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about the many benefits of earning a college degree, including career advancement, economic stability, and overall wellness.

The next session, “Financing Your Education” will take place February 16 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Athol Public Library. The workshop will guide participants through the process of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for grants, scholarships and student loans to cover the cost of tuition, fees and textbooks.

The third session, “Dive into College: Apply Today,” will take place March 15 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Athol Area YMCA. Students interested in enrolling in summer and fall 2016 courses will receive on-the-spot acceptance for any non-selective program. Students interested in enrolling in a selective program, which includes nursing, dental hygiene, dental assisting, physical therapist assistant and health information management, can obtain information about the application process.

Registration is not required, although reservations are recommended and can be made online at mwcc.edu/build/ymca. For information, contact the MWCC Admissions Office at admissions@mwcc.mass.edu or 978-630-9122, or visit mwcc.edu.