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Eden Shaveet graduated from MWCC’s Gateway to College program recently; receiving her high school and Associate’s degrees. Photo Courtesy Sentinel Enterprise)

On Friday, May 19 Eden Shaveet graduated with her high school degree and Associate’s degree after thinking just a few years earlier that she would never return to school.

Shaveet left traditional school at the age of 14 and never thought she was going to get her high school diploma let alone her Associate’s degree that she earned through the program. Shaveet reclaimed her education at the Gateways program and exceed all expectations, achieving recognition on the President’s List for maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout her entire college career and becoming an integral part of campus life as a Student Leader in Civic Engagement. She will be attending Elms College in the fall to pursue her baccalaureate degree.

During her speech, Shaveet highlighted the need for continued support for programs like Gateway to College:

“Hi. My name is Eden Shaveet. I’m 19 years old. I’m a Gateway student, I work at the college, and I love what I do.
That’s how I usually introduce myself to people. But today I thought I would introduce myself in a way I haven’t yet done before.

So Hi. My name is Eden Shaveet. I’m 19 years old. And I have attended 9 different schools throughout my lifetime. By the age of 12, I had been subjected daily to verbal and physical harassment by my peers to the point that I no longer wanted to attend school. At 13 I was shoved into a locker. At 14 I left school. By 15 I was purchasing and using substances I acquired from people in parking lots. At 16, I had adopted self-harm as my only means to cope. And at 17 I had lost all hope in myself.

Not as happy as the first intro, right?

But that’s the reality. And it’s a similar reality to those experienced by a lot of people, many of whom you may have never expected it from. And that makes us uncomfortable, right? So we don’t talk about it. And that creates a silence that often goes unacknowledged.

But it’s from that discomfort and from that silence that we are able to recognize the flaws in our perceptions that ultimately lead to the flaws in what we consider to be normal, appropriate, fair, and acceptable in our society.

Given my background as a former dropout and my current work in local public schools, I consider myself to be an advocate for education. And through this work, drawing from both personal experience and observation, something has made itself glaringly evident: As it currently stands, the education system in this country as a whole, inherently places certain populations of students at a significant disadvantage.

Eden Shaveet listens to her story being told by MWCC’s Commencement Speaker Attorney General Maura Healey at the college’s Commencement.

Populations such as students from low-income households, students who are first generation, students who dropped out or are at risk of dropping out, students who are disengaged from their communities, students who are bullied – all of these students are being underserved by a system intended to educate them equally and fairly, and it is the job of programs like Gateway to College, Talent Search, Upward Bound, and Gear Up to even the playing field and provide opportunity to these students that may not have been granted to them otherwise. Yet there are still people who believe that these programs lack meaning and value. There are still people who refuse to see any purpose in providing support to students in this capacity. In my everyday life, I have encountered people who have challenged me to defend the significance of the programs I have been a part of and worked for, with no intent to listen, and every intent to refute. Someone once even challenged me to defend Gateway to College as an alternative route to education, because they believed that as a student, I should have just been able to “stick it out” in my previous circumstances and to stop seeking assistance that wasn’t necessary. Well from a student’s perspective, I can tell you with the utmost amount of certainty that in the absence of such outreach programs I would not be where I am today and the fact that we have to fight to keep these programs functioning in our schools and communities is absurd.

According to a recent Gateway to College National Network study, the average GPA of students before they entered the Gateway program was a 1.62 on a 4.0 scale. By the end of their first term in the Gateway program, 83% of these same students earned a higher GPA than they had earned in high school, with over an entire grade-point improvement.

It is by unfortunate design that students of particular circumstances slip through the cracks in our education system, but it is contrary to such designs that programs like Gateway to College catch us before we fall, despite the barriers put in our way.

It’s no secret that barriers to opportunity emerge very early in life and that these barriers are highly indicative of a person’s likelihood to attain future success. Sometimes these barriers emerge in early childhood and sometimes they emerge even before a person exists, like a circumstance they were born into that they had no control over such as a lack of resources in an area they grew up in, that other areas or school systems did have access to. In our culture of desiring the “American Dream,” we’ve adopted this idea that if you want something badly enough, you can just work as hard as everyone else, and get it, right? But here’s the unpopular reality: Sometimes wanting it isn’t enough. Some people will never attain their aspirations due to the sheer fact that they lacked the support systems and opportunities that other people had readily available to them. The work of programs like Gateway to College and other outreach initiatives provide the resources we might not have otherwise received, and we are better off for it. We have to invest in our kids, invest in education, and support programs like Gateway to College, and so long as I’m around, so help me God, there will always be an advocate.

I’m eternally grateful to Gateway to College, and to Mount Wachusett for being a platform to offer this program to students like me who had nowhere else to turn. Thank you for opening your doors to me two years ago when any other school would have slammed them in my face.

I’m thankful for everyone who works in the division of Access and Transition, but especially to my resource specialist Sharmese Gunn for being my second mom whether I liked it or not.

Eden Shaveet stands with MWCC’s 2017 Commencement speaker Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey following commencement.

Because of you I am finally a high school graduate, a college graduate with my associate’s degree, and an accepted student on her way to a four year degree and beyond – a feat that could not have happened in the absence of these programs. None of this would have been possible without the tireless and often thankless work you have all dedicated your lives to. Thank you for giving me a chance, for seeing something in me that I couldn’t see in myself, for always encouraging me to embrace my story rather than hide it, and to always question “the norm.”
If there is anything I have taken away from all of you, it is this sentiment that I will now pass on to any student in the audience who is unhappy with where they are in school, or feels like they’re seen as nothing more than a number: Do not be afraid to be the only voice willing to question common practice. Because in many cases, the practices we have accepted as common and “the norm” are in fact the obstacles they claim to be averting. Do not be afraid to stand up, even if you are standing alone. You are more than what this system has predetermined you to be. Take that, and run with it.

And run with this:

In a system where over 1 million students will drop out of high school next year, where over 3.2 million students will be the victim of bullying while in school, where 1 out of every 4 students will exhibit the symptoms of mental illness as the result of chronic stress, and where 32% of traditional high school graduates in 2011 chose to not pursue higher education, but 73% of Gateway to College graduates did, allow my story, and the story of every Gateway to College graduate in this theater, across this State, throughout this country, past, present, and future be a testament to the idea that maybe, the problem is not with the student.

Thank you all so much, and congratulations to the class of 2017.”

Members of the 2017 Classes of the Pathways Early College Innovation School and the Gateway to College program graduated Friday night with their high school diplomas as well as college credits or degrees.

Over 60 students celebrated earning their high school diploma along with college credits or degrees through Mount Wachusett Community College’s dual enrollment programs Friday night.

This year’s graduates of the Pathways Early College Innovation School and the Gateway to College program were recognized during the May 19 graduation ceremony at MWCC. The programs are offered in partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District, the Athol Early College Experience and the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation, Inc. Career Tech Scholarship Program. They allow students to use school choice funding to earn their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credits, an academic certificate, or an associate degree.

Gateway to College Valedictorian Eden Shaveet left traditional school at the age of 14 and never thought she was going to get her high school diploma let alone her Associate’s degree that she earned through the program. During her speech, Shaveet highlighted the need for continued support for programs like Gateway to College.

“In the absence of such programs, I would not be where I am today and the fact that we have to fight for these programs is absurd,” said Shaveet. “Programs like Gateway to College catch us before we fall to barriers in our way… I am eternally grateful to Gateway to College and Mount Wachusett for providing these opportunities where otherwise none would exist.”

Shaveet reclaimed her education at the Gateways program and exceed all expectations, achieving recognition on the President’s List for maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout her entire college career and becoming an integral part of campus life as a Student Leader in Civic Engagement. She will be attending Elms College in the fall to pursue her baccalaureate degree.

Pathways Early College Innovation School Valedictorian Faith Kurtz is graduating with a 3.98 GPA. She has been accepted to attend WPI this fall to study Electrical Engineering.

“My professors here have been kind, reasonable and understanding people who have my best interests in mind and many have gone above and beyond,” said Kurtz.

In addition to her academic achievements, Kurtz threw herself into the community and logged over 200 volunteer hours in her first six months; embracing the motto that you won’t start succeeding until you start doing. She hopes to continue giving back to her community through engineering after finishing her studies at WPI.

“Every student here deserves the success they have because they have earned it … You can’t fake what you have done,” said Kurtz. “To everyone in the audience – thank you for supporting these outstanding individuals and I would ask you to continue supporting them in whatever their next endeavor is.”

Keynote speaker MWCC President James Vander Hooven encouraged the students to listen and contemplate their interactions with others because there is no telling what words will prove influential.

“Write these things down and learn strategies by incorporating them into your life,” said President Vander Hooven.

In closing, the president added his own words of advice and encouragement to the graduates.

“Don’t over complicate your lives. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Congratulations to each and every one of you. We are so proud of you,” said President Vander Hooven.

Established in 2010 as one of the first two innovation schools 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. 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, are at risk of dropping out, or experienced a setback, as well as an opportunity for home schooled students to complete high school and college studies.

 

The Gateway to College graduates were:

 

Ashburnham

Mia DeFalco

Dustin Estelle

 

Athol

Leah Breen

Legacy Brooks

Kimberly Favreau

Sasha McCraney-Montalvo

 

Baldwinville

Joelle Austin

Melinda Martin

Dylan Tambolleo

 

Barre

Julianna Ladd

 

Clinton

Victoria DaSilva

Serena Ferri-Lima

Angela Nicoli

 

Devens

Owen Kennedy

 

Fitchburg

Benjamin Almeida

Michael Hidalgo

Julia Mangiacotti

 

Gardner

Victoria Duprey

Nicholas Kapp

Taylor Putnam

Maurisa Weld

Hubbardston

Breanna Maysonet

Eden Shaveet

Zachariah Tancrell

 

Leominster

Daniella Caetano

Sharie Melendez

Alexandria Ridlon

Zachary Riley

Scott Russo

Jareth Skelton

Andrew Wegiel

 

Lunenburg

Rachel Wyman

 

Pepperell

Sydney Hudson

 

Petersham

Sarah Haynes

Richard Tripoli

 

Phillipston

Nicholas Allard

 

Templeton

Brendon Boulanger

 

Townsend

Jonathan Blouin

 

Westminster

Rebecca Schlier

 

Winchendon

Mary Grace Daly

Sydney Jaber

Sabrina Martin

 

The Pathways Early College Innovation School graduates were:

 

Ashburnham

Cassandra Cardillo

Rachel Vargeletis

 

Ashby

Aaron Kenney

 

Athol

Cameron Raymond

 

Athol Early College Experience

Zachary Bergquist

Natasha Ledoux

Lindsey Lee

 

Barre

Gabrielle Walker

 

Clinton

Jason Tovar

 

Fitchburg

Nathan Pierce

 

Gardner

Michael Sadowski

 

Holden

Faith Kurtz

 

Hubbardston

Alison Germagian

 

Leominster

Olivia Gianakis

 

Methuen

Alicia Schiller

 

Orange

Maris Clement

Benjamin Gilmore

Rachel Lundgren

Templeton

Zoe Hammond

 

Winchendon

Natalie Chretien

Jay Pereira (Robinson Broadhurst)

Members of Mount Wachusett Community College’s associate degree nursing class of 2017 celebrate after taking the nursing pledge following their pinning ceremony at the Fitness and Wellness Center at MWCC.

Family and friends from as near as Gardner and as far away as Kenya came to celebrate the achievements of Mount Wachusett Community College’s associate degree nursing class during a traditional pinning ceremony held May 18 in the Fitness & Wellness center.

The 44th graduating class was comprised of 102 students enrolled in the day and evening programs and included LPNs who returned to continue their education through the college’s Bridge to Nursing program.

Dressed in traditional nurse uniforms, the students were welcomed into the profession by having the program’s nursing pin fastened to their lapels by a family member, friend, or an alumnus of the program, or a faculty member. The pin marks where the nurses completed their studies and distinguishes them from other health care professionals. The eight-star MWCC pin is imprinted with the words “Service to Humanity and the World.”

As part of the ceremony, the students also took a nursing pledge that dates back to Florence Nightingale, who distinguished herself during the Crimean War by coming to the aid of sick and wounded soldiers.

The graduates were:

Ashburnham

Cassandra Benes

Lisa St John

 

Athol

Aurora Erali

Jessi Kuehl

Sarah Rattet

 

Auburn

Shawn Bello

Megan York

 

Ayer

Andrea Inostroza

Heather Sinofsky

 

Baldwinville

Tiffany Barsamian

Kayla Boutell

 

Brookfield

Sara Gallant

Meghan Robidoux

 

Cherry Valley

Stacy Riel-Rigiero

 

Clinton

Colleen Hannen

Erin O’Connell

 

Dracut

Shelmith Karimi

David Mungai

 

Dudley

Stacy Stackrow

 

Fitchburg

Nanam Adwubi

Allesandra Hollenkamp

Ashley McKinnon

Sharon Nabulime

Deanna Rossi

Amy Shattuck

Stefan Sicard

 

Framingham

Simone de Souza

Hanna Gyamfi

 

Gardner

Kristin Anderson

Benjamin Blake

Megan Casteel

Ashley Comley

Cynthia Cormier

Elizabeth Crete

Britnii Dyer

Acacia Fisher

Shannon Kelley

Charles Njaaga

Julia Pitre

Lani Scanlan

Kristina Snay

Amy Tervo

 

Grafton

Megan McNeil

 

Greenfield, NH

Andrea Langley

 

Groton

Stephanie Casey

 

Holden

Carolyn Felicio

 

Jaffrey, NH

Amanda Boucher

Rebecca Myott

Paula Whitcomb

 

Keene, NH

Ryan Firmin

 

Leominster

Samantha Berry

Elizabeth Brown

Lisa Doherty

Anna Gamaya

Felicia Harwood

Jocelyn Klein

Julie LeClair

Maysha Peckham

Veronica Valladares

 

Lowell

Beth Mwangi

Mamawa Sannoh

 

Lunenburg

Szerena Moyen-vonRosenvinge

Jodi Peternel

Valerie Poladian

Mija Waluck

 

Marlborough

Brenda Warren

 

New Ipswich, NH

Clayton Kuusisto

 

North Brookfield

Mindy Gendron

Keri-Ann Harvey

 

Oakham

Elizabeth Mahoney

 

Orange

Lisa Korpiewski

 

Pepperell

Rachel Pinney

 

Petersham

Ryan Lawrence

 

Princeton

Christopher Martin

 

Richmond, NH

Margaret Laplume

 

Rindge, NH

Manzall Mitchell-Dwyer

Bridget Murphy

 

Royalston

Ashley Sawyer

 

Russell

Sherry Whitman

 

Rutland

Courtney Champlin

Katelyn Kane

Sabrina Pettigrew

 

Shrewsbury

Katie Cooper

 

Spencer

Shannon Wolanski

 

Springfield

James Mugwanja

 

Sterling

Valerie Maloney

Amanda Nourse

 

Sutton

Kristina Pelletier

 

Templeton

Katherine Goguen

 

West Groton

Karen D’Agostino

 

Winchendon

Ashley Brunt

Leslie Cosentino

 

Worcester

Aaron Aikins

Monica Boafo

Judith Hunter

Joseph Kum

Lydia London

Eliud Mwangi

John-Mark Njenga

Guerda Pierre

Marta Szczubelek

Shana Tobin

On Wednesday evening, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey addressed 730 students and their well-wishers at Mount Wachusett Community College’s 52nd Commencement.

On Wednesday evening, 730 students were awarded nearly 800 degrees and certificates as they graduated from Mount Wachusett Community College.

The gathered graduates at the College’s 52nd commencement were reminded by Keynote Speaker Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey of the hard work that they applied to make it to this day. Healey focused on the graduate’s own stories of perseverance, whether that meant working while going to school, raising a family while getting their degree, postponing their education to serve in the military or pushing themselves to return to school in the first place.

“You rolled up your sleeves. You worked hard and no one can take that away from you. But you also had The Mount at your sides and a school that told you you were not alone in this,” said Healey.

It was this commitment to their own education but also the greater community that drew her to speak at The Mount, she said. Because even though the graduates were working hard in their own lives that did not stop them from giving back to others.

“Despite all the demands on your time you still found time to give back to others and uphold this school’s national reputation for community service,” said Healey who commended the students for giving back nearly 150,000 volunteer hours in the last year. “You are changing lives day in and day out.”

Healey encouraged the graduates to continue giving back whether it is in the workforce or continuing to volunteer at their next school.

“You know your education belongs not just to you but to your community. That is really important,” said Healey. “I know you will find ways to give back to this community.”

In closing, the Attorney General said she could not give a graduation speech without passing along some kind of advice. Her words of advice included “use common sense” and “trust your gut” but Healey focused on the need to connect with others and not pre-judge them.

“It’s so important that we talk to one another… and talk to people that are different from ourselves,” she said.

President James Vander Hooven kicked off his address to students with a selfie.

In his remarks at his first commencement at The Mount, President James Vander Hooven commended the graduates for their accomplishments and reminded them of what they have truly learned during their time at MWCC: strategies. While you may have picked up some facts along the way, he told the graduates, learning strategies is what higher education is truly about. These strategies that served the graduates throughout their education are now the same ones that will be invaluable while facing future life or workplace challenges.

“By being here tonight, you have proven yourselves capable of utilizing tried and true strategies for achieving educational success. Whatever your next steps might be … use the strategies you have learned here to your advantage,” said President Vander Hooven.

Student Speaker Cynthia Doyle talked about her life as a part-time student and full-time employee at MWCC. The college is a huge part of her family, she said, with her mother having graduated from the school 32 years ago and her daughter having just finished her first year at MWCC.

At the age of 46, Doyle is graduating after four years of pushing herself through late nights and classwork on top of her daily challenges. This story of perseverance is not hers alone, however, but belongs to every student in the audience, she said. During her time working in the Student Accounts office, she has seen firsthand the hard work of many members of the graduating class.

“I am extremely proud to have been a resource for you and I am extremely proud to work for a college that will go to great lengths to set students up for success and will continue to provide support for generations to come,” said Doyle. “I have watched us all grow and mature, from the first semester walking through those doors to the strong confident men and women sitting here now.”

But neither the journey nor the struggle is over with this graduation, she said.

“What advice I give you today is to keep going forward, it doesn’t end here. Whatever it is that you want to strive for, whatever goal you want to achieve, it is doable, continue to go and do it. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work there is no limit,” Doyle said.

In addition to the speakers, business leader and community volunteer Wayne Canty received Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2017 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. Canty is highly involved in the region’s business and volunteer community through both his business Heat Trace Products and his activity on numerous boards and commissions.

Canty talked about his beginnings working in a factory from the age of 17 to earn money to go to school. During that time, he went to what was then called a junior college and would now be called a community college.

“I’ve been there where you have been; where you are. At least for a few minutes, I can be the poster boy or poster old man of success coming through the community college system. This one here I would consider to be the Ivy League of community colleges. Congratulations,” Canty told the graduates

State Representative Susannah Whipps was recognized as Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2017 Alumna of the Year. Created in 1989, the award recognizes a Mount Wachusett Community College graduate who has exhibited exceptional career leadership, service to community and commitment to the college. Whipps is a local business owner and has served in government positions since being elected to the Athol Board of Selectman in 2005. Most recently, she was elected as State Rep. in 2015 for the Second Franklin District.

“Learning isn’t a contest or competition. It should be a journey and I’ve had a fabulous journey and the reason I’ve had such a fabulous journey is because of the foundation here at Mount Wachusett Community College,” said Whipps. “I felt a part of something when I was here at Mount Wachusett Community College.”

Jasson Alvarado Gomez was presented with the Trustees Award for his service this year on the MWCC Board of Trustees. The President’s Key Award for academic excellence was presented to Accounting major Cynthia A. Boucher of Ashburnham and Medical Laboratory Technology major Lara E. White of Lunenburg. Michel L Cocuzza of Winchendon was presented with the Dean’s Key, which is awarded to graduates for outstanding service to the college community.

Professor Emeritus status was bestowed posthumously upon Ed Stevens who passed away in April after teaching in the disciplines of physics, mathematics and engineering for over 50 years at MWCC.

Area graduates include:

Massachusetts

 

Arlington

Certificates: Raquel Maurice

 

Ashburnham

Associates: Linda J Anderson, Megan J Barker, Cassandra Leigh Benes, Megan Elizabeth Bernard, Cynthia A Boucher, Cassandra Cardillo, Lynne Galvin, Rebecca L Gardner, Jennifer Marie Guerriero, William Robert Hoeksema, Dylan Robert Mei, Lisa M St John, Rachel Celina Vargeletis

Certificates: Patrick R Brownell, Lynne Galvin, Donna M Slocum

 

Ashby

Associates: Kyna Joan Gilmore, Kimberly M Greig, Aaron B Kenney, Carl William Selmer

Certificates: Victoria Elizabeth Cummings

 

Athol

Associates: Nicholas  Alvarez, Anastasia  Anderholm, Samantha M Arsenault, Zachary  Bergquist, Heather Christine Chadsey, Sarah A Clark, Jessie A Corbett, Simon  Dufresne, Aurora A Erali, Troy Christopher Godin, Jason  Hicks-Greenough, MaRyea  Jennings, Isabelle C Johnson, Jessi H Kuehl, Cassondra L Lavigne, Lindsey  Lee, Sierra  Lopez, Kari  McGivern, Hannah M Pachalis, Sarah B Rattet, Cameron Jon Raymond, Courtney  Roche, Anthony  Rodriguez, William John Sawin, Donna  Songer, Alejita  Velez, Adam  Verock, Mathieu  Woodbury

Certificates: Allison R Aucoin, Danyelle M Bushee, Samantha M Farley, Luis A Rivera, Anthony Rodriguez, Russell P Vescovi, Matthew White

 

Auburn

Associates: Shawn F Bello, Megan Elizabeth York

 

Ayer

Associates: Andrea C Inostroza, Katherine Jordan, Patricia E Kelley, Michael J Murphy, Joseph Santiago, Caitlyn Marie Sherry, Heather E Sinofsky

Certificates: Kelly MacNeil

 

Baldwinville

Associates: Tiffany R Barsamian, Kayla E Boutell, Tara DeWitte, Phylicia K Duguay, Laura Lyman, Caleb Simeon Matson, Alannah Marie McDonald, Kayla D Rameau, Kyle W Salam

Certificates: Samantha E Whalen

 

Barre

Associates: Christina M Ackert, Sean W Craig, Jordan M LaBelle, Matthew R LaPointe, Alexandria Morrissey, Sarah Jane O’Sullivan, Liam J Scanlon, Gabrielle Susan Walker

Certificates: Ann Giaquinto Scott, Jordan M LaBelle, Santo Mammone, Jayne Patrice Proctor

 

Belchertown

Associates: Christine A Brown

 

Berlin

Associates: Graham Bateman

 

Bernardston

Associates: William M Andrews

 

Bolton

Associates: Kayleigh M Cavanaugh, Daniel C Wuorio

Certificates: Peter S Hopkins

 

Boston

Associates: Wei He Yiu

 

Boxborough

Associates: Conner Dempsey

Certificates: Susan M LaForest

 

Brookfield

Associates: Mary K Faugno Wiles, Meghan Janice Robidoux

 

Buzzards Bay

Associates: Joshua T Goliber

Cherry Valley

Associates: Stacy L Riel-Rigiero

 

Clinton

Associates: Megan F Ballenger, Eva Beland, Larry F Ciarletta, Laura Louise Coldwell, Colleen M Hannen, Nicholas Y Hernandez, Brittany A Hutchinson, Jeffrey Jean-Baptiste, Mailoan Nguyen, Erin E O’Connell, Elizabeth D Silva, Jason  Tovar

Certificates: Megan F Ballenger, Megan A Pasquale, Stephanie E Tor

 

Dracut

Associates: Shelmith N. Karimi, David K Mungai, Sheila M Salaverry

Certificates: Alice W Ndungu

 

Dudley

Associates: Stacy M. Stackrow

 

East Templeton

Associates: Lisa J. Delorme, Colleen Janice Moran, Courtney Lynn Wentz

Erving

Certificates: Justine N Pottinger

 

Fitchburg

Associates: Marissa Susan Abell, Nana A Adwubi, Stephanie M Arnold, Mavis NS Barnor, Kayla K Blanchette, Courtney K Bouchard, Emily Morgan Boudreau, Colline D Butler, Shane  Carroll, Carlington C Clarke, Daniel P Clifford, Cassandra E Croft, Aritha  Daniels, Brittany  DuBois, Michael  Erhagbai, Jarelin Gesely Escobar, Christopher William Farmer, Maria Lucia Ferreira, Leah Rose Fletcher, Julie  Fluet, Eugenio Angel Garcia, Eunices  Gonzalez, Elida K Griffin, Leonela A Grullon, Jacqueline Amanda Healy, JoAnna L Heng, Kaylyn  Herold, Kayla J Hickey, Allesandra L Hollenkamp, Joshua L Irfan, Godwill  Karngong, Grace N Kiigi, Vanayda M Knight, Gianna Lucia LaPosta, Patricia J Lillie, Katelyn M Lingus, Nicole M Maldonado, Linda M Martel, Ashley R McKinnon, Yemni T Mendez, Bria R Monette-Harris, John  Moua, Sharon M Nabulime, Alicia  Navarro, Ritchie Alan Nelson, Sevina V Ortiz, Kris J Osgood, Estefanie  Palma, Ashley  Perez, Marymar  Perez Cruz, Nathan A Pierce, April L Quirk, Nataly  Ramos, Brian  Reyes, Faith  Robinett, Eduardo  Rodriguez, Nicolas R Romero, Deanna M Rossi, Megan  Rossi, Rose M Sanchez Pratts, Katherine Judith Sandoval, Samnath  Say, Amy E Shattuck, Stefan M Sicard, Giovani  Soto, Michael  Soto, Augustine J Tetteh-Quarshie, Ashley  Thibault, Skylyn  Torres, Tatiana Vazquez, Crystal A Witz, Staci L Wolski, Fuechee  Yang

 

Certificates: Vilmarie  Alvarado, Meghgan A Beauvais, Tamu L Brobbey, Michael O Bueno, Christofer  Butler, Salvador  De La Cruz, Matthew J DiPasquale, Jamaal R Dockery, Joseph Michael Favini, Nikita Rose Gilbert, Nicole M Mattson, Kimberly Lynn Mertell, Haley R Mullen, Alicia  Navarro, Sevina V Ortiz, Wilfred  Perez, Yarilis  Perez, Charmaine M Radzewicz, Sylvia  Ramirez, Diosmar  Reynoso, Eduardo  Rodriguez, Stephanie A Santangelo, Tonia M Sheridan-Hamblin, Marry K Sivilaythong, Colleen M Suarez, Augustine J Tetteh-Quarshie, Jessica L Theriault, Monica R Wirickx, Fuechee  Yang

 

Framingham

Associates: Hanna Gyamfi, Simone M de Souza

 

Gardner

Associates: Leslie Ann Ackers, Raina  Aiello, Kristin J Anderson, Samantha Mariel Badia, Scott  Batchelder, Benjamin K Blake, Christine C Boisvert, Destiny D Boisvert, Emily A Bradshaw, Taylor M Butler, Chelsea May Caron, Megan E Casteel, Rebekah L Cohen, Ashley Marie Comley, Donald T Connors, Cynthia M Cormier, Elizabeth A Crete, Timothy  Cronin, Harli L Curtis, Rebekkah  Dietz, Wendy A Dobbins, Viclinepon S Duangsay, Brittany A Dufresne, Britnii J Dyer, Acacia A Fisher, Samantha  Gravlin, Jose Manuel Herrera, Erika A Holm, Jessica Noel James, Latisha  Johnson, Nicole Brianna Joseph, Alyssa M Juliano, Shannon M Kelley, Kendyll Marie-William Knight, Lisa K Kowalczyk, Kristina M LaBombard, Samantha JM LeBlanc, Jordan Robert Learmonth, Krista  Lennerton, Anthony C MacKenzie, Douglas  Marroquin, Jessica l McKay, Kaitlyn Marie Mearn, Keith A Melanson, Marguerite Elizabeth Nicholas, Charles M Njaaga, Olivia  Ouellet, Kevin W Oxford, Melissa  Paulhus, Julia R Pitre, Nicholas  Powell, Estephany S Rodriguez, Michael T Sadowski, Lani D Scanlan, Julia N Scott, Tracy J Shackett, LaKeya  Springfield, Jerrika  St John, Deborah-Jean  Strachan, Amy M Tervo, Eva  Tolman-Brown, Laurie  Tucci, Scott  Vieira, Cameron  Walsh, Melissa S Wright

 

Certificates: Kyle J Blanchette, Christopher T Blouin, Tanya Lee Botelho, Jessica L Cahill, Sadiya M Clark, Ramsey E Clayter, Harli L Curtis, Brittany A Dufresne, Curtis Hall, Lisa K Kowalczyk, Grace Kraft, Elizabeth P LaPan, Angella  Nakanwagi, Lee Ann M Orsalock, Janice  Perez, Emma L Phillips, Sarah E Pierce-Legassey, Kari L Quinlan, Deborah-Jean  Strachan, Nathan A Thibault, Scott  Vieira, Kathleen D White

 

Grafton

Associates: Jonathan Cheney, Megan Leigh McNeil

 

Greenfield

Associates: Katherine Newell

Certificates: Katherine Newell

 

Groton

Associates: Stephanie J Casey

Certificates: Courtney N Monaco
Hardwick

Associates: Cody Allen Braese, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Malin

 

Harvard

Associates: Jari Squire

 

Haverhill

Certificates: Jennifer A Koinange

 

Holden

Associates: Michael E Dodd, Shannon E Drohan, Carolyn M Felicio, Faith Kurtz

Certificates: Cheyanne Elizabeth Rigney

 

Hubbardston

Associates: Victoria R Allen, Tyler J Charland, Andrew David Como, Gabrielle Rose Deloge, Alison  Germagian, Jessica A Horgan, Andrew Amorntap Horsung, Stevie  LaBelle, Adam James McHugh, Jana Christin Murphy, Amy L Pasakinskas, Mason William Prentiss, Eden  Shaveet, Jareth D Skelton, Lauren  Stohler, Evan  Tucker, Jasmine  Welch

Certificates: Matthew R Brooks, Sheila Marie DeMalia

 

Hudson

Associates: Lorna Arimboh Tambi

 

Lancaster

Associates: Nicole Boufford, Stanley Louis Choruzek, Sherry Cutler, Matthew Harris, Haley  Isaacs

 

Leicester

Associates: Jessika Lyn Little

 

Leominster

Associates: Donovan A Aboal-Caceres, Samantha  Aviles, Kahlil  Beauregard, Carlotta Y Belle, Samantha L Berry, Brianna C Boulay, Brittney  Brown, Elizabeth A Brown, Guece B Clermont, Karina N Colon, Kimberly P Contreras, Sarah L Costa, Nicholas Robert Crawford, Nellie R D’Albora, Christopher Paul Dagle, Omar  De Jesus, Carrie F DeCosta, Lisa M Doherty, William  Doyon, Samantha L Elliott, Precious E Erving, Mikayla L Esposito, Yolandese  Exceus, Anna John Gamaya, Olivia P Gianakis, Melissa  Gonzalez, Kimberly A Goulston, Galadriel D Hahn, Michael Edward Harris, Felicia D Harwood, Nhat T Hoang, Alana Beth Jones, Dana Raymond Jones, Jennifer E Jones, Lauryn E Kelley, Jocelyn Marley Klein, Julie M LeClair, Rafaela Oliveira Lopes, Taisha  Lopez, Mariaris  Luna, Daniel J Mahoney, Isaac  Michail, Maisa J Moreira, Iddriss  Mutari, Maysha I Peckham, Mark A Ramos, Selena Michelle Ray, Gilbert  Revesai, Felicia  Rice, Maria M Rivera, Kyria M Salgado, Samantha A Seidl, Erika Vanessa Seijo Gonzalez, Isadora  Silva Andrade, Ellen E Smith, Joseph F Sottile, Haley  Szidat, Taylor Lee Thibodeau, Veronica  Valladares, Olga  Vlah, Gemini M Walter, Danielle Elizabeth Waseleski, Jonathan T Wentworth, Kelsi S Whittemore, Letecia Winters

 

Certificates: Alham  Ajez, Marisol  Alejandro Oquendo, Romolo S Cataldo, Allison M Correa, Denny L Cruz, Omar  De Jesus, Alondra  DeLeon Guimaraes, Ingrid J Del Orbe, Kiana I Delgado, Nelida  Figueroa Lopez, Felicia G Freel, Danielle Faye Johns, Donna M King, Jared Steven Kuczwara, Emily Patricia Lemieux, Taisha  Lopez, Mariaris  Luna, Yamara  Martinez, Isaac  Michail, Marcela C Minas, Iddriss  Mutari, Florisa A Ramos, Elaine C Rice, Karla  Rivera, Teresa  Silveira, Yonaly  Tavarez, Tanairi  Valentin, Autumn L Wendel, Molly M Winand

 

Littleton

Associates: Haley Lee Saarinen

 

Lowell

Associates: Vises Horth, Beth Karimi Mwangi, Mamawa Dauretta Sannoh

Certificates: Akua Agyeiwaa Quardson, Stella W Mwangi, Peter W Wangondu

 

Lunenburg

Associates: Anne M Allan, Hayes J Amaral, Christina J Bernatchez, Meredith A Billiter, Anthony Michael Cintron, Jarrod Mark Haas, Nicole D Ignazi, Bonnie E Logan, Szerena J Moyen-vonRosenvinge, Kamerin P Munroe, Jodi L Peternel, Valerie P Poladian, Amber L Rivera, Mija L Waluck, Lara E White

 

Certificates: Carter Robert Filiau, Trystan E McFetridge, Gail Mercier, Adam M Nano, Jillian M Smith

 

Malden

Associates: Taryn K Graybeal

 

Marlborough

Associates: Courtney R Aulden, Christina L Knox, Jose Saquich, Evangelia S Sunberg, Brenda L Warren

Certificates: Paola Andrea Molina

 

Maynard

Associates: Andrea K Lontine

 

Methuen

Associates: Alicia Rose Schiller

 

Millbury

Associates: Eduardo A Freitas

 

New Braintree

Certificates: Caitlin R Stevens

 

New Salem

Associates: Shawnee A Lewis-Phillips

 

North Brookfield

Associates: Keri-Ann J Harvey, Sara R LeBel, Kyleen Roman

 

Oakham

Associates: Elizabeth M Mahoney, Aaron Jeffrey Witkos

 

Orange

Associates: Jennifer M Ballou, Keira Bradshaw, Maris Clement, Matthew Crumbley, Cynthia R Doyle, Benjamin Gilmore, Julia Griffin, Lisa A Korpiewski, Natasha Ledoux, Hillary D Leh, Rachel M Lundgren, Brianna Marsh

Certificates: Cynthia R Doyle, Eliza Graton, Anna M Morin, Gregory Suprise

 

Paxton

Associates: Kayla A Shabo

Certificates: Nga T Le, Valerie Schiller

 

Pepperell

Associates: Julia R Overhiser, Rachel Mae Pinney, Shannyn A Pomeroy, Elizabeth A Sappet, William F Stone

Certificates: William Ronzio

 

Petersham

Associates: Ryan L Lawrence, Rachel K Sexton

 

Phillipston

Associates: Stephanie Jane Girouard, Kathleen Julius, Tyana Kandi Maki, Brooke Pacheco, Hayleigh D Sundstrom

 

Princeton

Associates: Christopher M Martin

 

Royalston

Associates: Kelly E Frazier, Dylan C Hall, Ashley R Sawyer

 

Russell

Associates: Sherry N Whitman

 

Rutland

Associates: Courtney A Champlin, Asher A Crane, Katelyn L Kane, Sabrina A Pettigrew

Certificates: Lisa Lange, Laura Teves

 

Salem

Certificates: Ashley Ann Ferris

 

Sharon

Associates: Robert Hamilton Davenport Pisarchuk

 

Shirley

Associates: Matthew D Callahan, Katelin Griffin, Joseph John Holmes, Timothy F Kelly, Sarah Soto

Certificates: Bert A Dawson, Julie M Henderson

 

Shrewsbury

Associates: Katie E Cooper, Courtney B Hurley

 

Somerville

Certificates: Alfred Pierre-Noel

 

South Lancaster

Associates: Khaien B Donawa

 

Spencer

Associates: Amarilys G Lozada, Elizabeth A O’Mara, Shannon Lynn Wolanski

Certificates: Linda Maher

 

Springfield

Associates: James N Mugwanja

 

Sterling

Associates: Cameron Jewett Alden, Miles Robert Gray, Valerie H Maloney, Amanda L Nourse, Neil Rosinski

Certificates: Sirirath J Chanhsy, Christine Wagner

 

Sutton

Associates: Kristina Nicole Pelletier

 

Templeton

Associates: Lynnea Joy Anderholm, Devin  Bellis, Cynthia J Bettencourt, Jason  Boski, Elizabeth J Conner, Allison  Cormier, Katherine Iris Goguen, Zoe H Hammond, Timothy Shane Hazelton, Daniel R Martin, Benjamin Thomas May, Jacob Ryan Parent, Shaina R Wallace, Eric Wilson, Sarah E Young

Certificates: Holly S D’Angelo, Angelica Mona De Los Rios, Daniel R Martin, Jonathan K Martin

 

Townsend

Associates: Jeffrey A Garafola, Dylan B Jones, Julie E LaFleur, John J Lord, Anna Christine Roberts, Rachel L Sullivan, Tiffany Ann Vincenti

Certificates: Kerri Lynn Burton, Pamela M Corbett, John J Lord

 

Ware

Associates: Leah Downer Trudeau

 

Warwick

Certificates: Deena Marie LeBlanc, Samantha M Peters

 

Webster

Associates: Mackenzie Christensen, Esther Gichuhi

 

West Boylston

Associates: Alex J Gariepy

 

West Brookfield

Associates: Peter Samuel French

 

West Groton

Associates: Karen M D’Agostino

 

West Townsend

Associates: Tyler C Gribi, Emily Seeley, Scot Sullivan

 

Westminster

Associates: Nicholas R Auffrey, Jared James Aveni, Corey P Boucher, Jonathan Chernoch, Kaitlyn A Gagne, Travis J Martin, Joshua S McDermott, Dillon Thomas Morgan, Nicole R

Skinner

Certificates: Jessica N Goguen, Joslyn Emily Winter

 

Winchendon

Associates: Madeline M Allard, Brandon William Beals, Lauren  Bennett, Jonathan P Blodgett, Mariah  Boisvert, Kelsey  Bosselait, Philip  Brady, Samantha  Brooks, Ashley E Brunt, Daniel  Caputi, Jaymisen M Carr, Natalie  Chretien, Cayla M Clinkscale, Michel L Cocuzza, Kristen A Cormier, Leslie A Cosentino, Robert W Courtemanche, Melanie  Cranfill, Marygrace  Daly, Joel T DeVelis, Riley  Elliott, Mark T Gagnon, Stephanie J Goodwin, Bridget  Harrington, Becca  Hill, Lindsay K Laporte, Sarah E Larson, Joseph Daniel LeBlanc, Di  Lin, Ryan Patrick May, Brity T Murphy, Trevor Goodwin Page, Iva  Quinn, Kelsey  Schecker, Kristina D Snay, Gordon Dale Tuttle, Jonathan D Zukowski

 

Certificates: Katherynn R Alden, Cassandra  Anderson, Michel L Cocuzza, Joseph A Duerr, Jana S Egan, Becca  Hill, Jay  Pereira, Yaribeth  Torres

 

Woodville

Certificates: Karen  Putnam

 

Worcester

Associates: Aaron A Aikins, Jasson  Alvarado Gomez, Monica  Boafo, Albert J Encarnacion, Judith I Hunter, Joseph K Kum, Lydia Varesa London, Kevin  Lynch, Eliud M Mwangi, John-Mark M Njenga, Opeyemi Sakiru Odewale, Courtney N Paradise, Nga  Pham, Guerda  Pierre, Marta  Szczubelek, Constance  Tazelaar, Jessica B Tobar, Shana L Tobin

 

Certificates: Akosua O Amoako, Jackline  Dartey, Albert J Encarnacion, Faviola D Flores, Jennifer Marie Gelinas, Buruburu  Kagotho, Jason M Kiragu, Shakesha  Thompson

 

California

 

San Diego

Associates: Erika L Stamas

 

Connecticut

 

Danielson

Associates: Joseph Francis Lecza

 

New Hampshire

 

Fitzwilliam

Associates: Casey R Bedingfield, Julia Josephine Roma McHugh

Certificates: Kenneth F Roy

 

Greenfield

Associates: Andrea M Langley

 

Greenville

Certificates: Brianna M McDougal

 

Hampstead

Associates: Nicole N Reynolds

 

Hooksett

Associates: Jason M Wright

 

Jaffrey

Associates: Amanda B Boucher, Shauna M Chamberlain, Rebekah Chiasson, Rebecca J Myott, Katrina K Ung, Paula D Whitcomb

Certificates: Margaret E Hart-Smith, Kaitlynn Shea

 

Keene

Associates: Ryan J Firmin

 

Nashua

Associates: Richard  Schaufenbil

 

New Ipswich

Associates: Tatsiana  Brovina, Clayton W Kuusisto, Aimee Joy Matson

Certificates: Tatsiana  Brovina, Shannon R Kuusisto

 

Richmond

Associates: Angela M Haynes, Jennifer R Haynes, Margaret M Laplume

 

Rindge

Associates: Andrew Michael Hoenig, Breanna Marie McAvoy, Gregory A McAvoy, Manzall  Mitchell, Bridget Troy Murphy

Certificates: Jade  Hill, Lee-Ann  Johnson

Temple

Certificates: Danielle R O’Brien

 

Washington

 

Monroe

Associates: Helena  Santee

Joe LeBlanc went through MWCC’s STEM Starter Academy and is set to attend WPI this fall.

Four Mount Wachusett Community College students are set to continue their studies this fall at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Joe LeBlanc, Jonathan Chernoch, Zachary Bergquist and Faith Kurtz have been accepted to WPI for the fall semester.

Joe came to the school through the STEM Starter Academy that launches students into college the summer before their first full year with two free classes and a $1,000 stipend to allow them to focus on their studies. Joe built not only his knowledge, but his confidence at MWCC.

“If I went to WPI straight out of high school I think I would have felt overwhelmed at first. Going here first allowed me to get over that,” he said. “And when they came here I thought all their projects were really interesting and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Jonathan said he feels ready for the next step as well.

“I feel very prepared with the material that I have learned here,” said Jonathan who plans to go on to get his Ph. D. in Physics. “You can definitely transition pretty seamlessly to what they are doing there.”

Jonathan Chernoch is set to attend WPI this fall.

The two students were deeply involved with a budding partnership between MWCC and WPI that has been ushered in by WPI Alumnus and MWCC Assistant Professor of Math and Physics Peter Olszak. Over the past three years, he has been working to connect MWCC students with the Worcester school, bringing current WPI students in for presentations and instilling in MWCC students that their education at the college prepares them to go anywhere.

Joe, of Westminster, took part in one of those labs and said that seeing the culture of WPI up close was as helpful as realizing that he could handle the technical aspects of what the students at WPI were tackling.

“Seeing what I would be doing there first hand allowed me to finalize my decision,” said Joe who volunteered in a lab at WPI. “I began to feel like I was a part of WPI and that really helped me finalize my decision.”

Zachary Bergquist is set to attend WPI this fall after getting his high school diploma and Associate’s degree through MWCC’s Pathways program.

The two other students set to transfer to WPI, Zachary Bergquist (from Athol) and Faith Kurtz (from Holden), will be graduating this week not only with their Associate’s Degree but also their high school diploma through the Pathways Early College Innovation School that is operated out of MWCC’s Gardner campus. This program gives students the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and an Associate degree while completing their junior and senior year taking courses at MWCC.

Zachary said that this program has allowed him to get an immersive college experience while completing high school. He said that the fast pace of Pathways at MWCC, which included accelerated classes that met very frequently but for a short period of time, has prepared him for the kind of studying he expects to encounter during his time at WPI, which has seven week course lengths.

“I would rather have that fast pace without a lot of courses together so that you can focus on getting the most quality work you can,” said Zachary who wants to launch an innovative hardware company after he graduates. “I think there is a way to make it a lot more accessible and economical to get technology out to working people earlier.”

Faith Kurtz plans to put the engineering knowledge she will get from WPI to work helping others.

Also a Pathways student, Faith has been accepted to attend WPI this fall to study Electrical Engineering. As part of her application, she created an original dual-action hand pump design that was reviewed and refined with an engineer at Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Upon coming to MWCC, Faith threw herself into the community and logged over 200 volunteer hours in her first six months; embracing the motto that you won’t start succeeding until you start doing. She hopes to continue giving back to her community through engineering after finishing her studies at WPI.

“With a career in engineering, my goal would not only be to support myself, but to improve as many people’s lives as possible along the way. I hope to use creative problem solving to meet the needs of my community and approach projects with compassion so that the solutions they create serve those who need them most,” Faith said. “My dream job is to design inventions which will improve the lives of others.”

All four students will be participating in MWCC’s Commencement Wednesday where 751 degrees and certificates will be awarded to 717 students. In addition to their degrees, these students will receive words of wisdom and encouragement from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey who will be the college’s Commencement Speaker this year.

Students from the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting at Mount Wachusett Community College celebrate after their pinning ceremonies.

Twenty students graduating on May 17 with their Dental Assisting or Dental Hygiene degrees were honored Friday night during a special pinning ceremony.

The ceremony is a time to recognize the hard work of the students and welcome them into the dental professions, according to Cindy Cadoret, the director of the dental education programs at Mount Wachusett Community College.

That commitment to their studies and the work they will be doing in the community were recognized during the ceremony by State Senator Harriette Chandler.

“Your jobs are so important. You are going to make a difference,” said Senator Chandler. “These jobs are life changing jobs.”

Special awards were presented to students who showed exemplary skill within their discipline. April Quirk was presented The Hu-Friedy Award for excellent clinical skills and competence and the willingness to always go above and beyond in the clinical setting. The Dental Hygiene Department Award was presented to Christina Knox for her overall strong academic achievement, clinic excellence, leadership, and making the dental setting team-oriented. The Dental Assisting Department Award was presented to Victoria Cummings for her overall excellence in academic achievement and clinical skill. In a new award, Brittany Hutchinson was recognized for her work promoting oral health with the Oral Health Promotion Award.

State Senator Harriet Chandler addresses the Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene students Friday night.

The students honored from the dental programs were:

Dental Assisting
Ashby: Victoria E. Cummings
Fitchburg: Meghgan A. Beauvais
Leominster: Felicia G. Freel
Shirley: Julie Henderson
Worcester: Faviola Flores
Greenville, NH: Brianna M. McDougal

Dental Hygiene

Ashby: Kimberly M. Grieg
Ashburnham: April Quirk
Athol: Cassondra Lavigne, Hannah Pachalis
Clinton: Brittany A. Hutchinson
Fitchburg: Eunices Gonzalez
Leominster: Ellen Smith
Lunenburg: Christina Bernatchez
Marlborough: Christina Knox
Ware: Leah Trudeau
Winchendon: Stephanie J. Goodwin
Worcester: Mailoan Nguyen, Nga Pham
Fitzwilliam, NH: Casey R. Bedingfield

President James Vander Hooven presents Jana Murphy with her 2017 Newman Civic Fellow Award at the Mount Wachusett Community College Evening of Excellence.

Mount Wachusett Community College celebrated the academic achievements of extraordinary students during its annual Evening of Excellence awards dinner May 12 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Leominster. Students were recognized not only for their performance inside the classroom, but for their contributions in the community as well.

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 $300,000 in scholarships this year.

“You have earned and you deserve the excellence that has brought you to this moment,” said President James Vander Hooven, who took over the office in March. “I haven’t been here very long but I can say from the bottom of my heart that I am proud of each and every one of you for the excellence you have shown. I implore you to use whatever you have gained at The Mount to benefit others and to build and strengthen our communities because we need that now more than ever.”

The following awards were presented:

CURRICULUM AWARDS

Art                                                                    Kevin Lynch of Worcester

 

Communications Track                                      Rebekah Chiasson of Jaffrey NH

Early Childhood Education – Career                    Leslie A. Ackers            of Gardner

 

Early Childhood Education – Transfer                 Samantha Gravlin of Gardner

 

Elementary Education Track                               Brianna Marsh of Orange

 

Liberal Arts & Sciences                                      Faith Kurtz of Holden

Eden Shaveet of Hubbardston

 

Interdisciplinary Studies                                     Angela M. Haynes of Richmond, NH

 

Accounting Concentration                                  Cynthia A. Boucher of Ashburnham

 

Business Administration – Transfer                     Iva Quinn of Winchendon

Business Administration – Career                        Linda J. Anderson of Ashburnham

 

Analytical Laboratory and Quality                       Staci Wolski of Fitchburg

Systems Concentration

 

Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing                        Nicolas R. Romero of Fitchburg

 

Biological Science Track                                    Jennifer M. Guerriero of Ashburnham

 

Computer Information Systems                          Marguerite E. Nicholas of Gardner

 

Chemical Science          Track                           Lorna A. Tambi of Hudson

 

Natural Resources                                             Jari Squire of Harvard

 

Paralegal Degree                                               Carrie F. DeCosta of Leominster

 

Physics or Pre-Engineering Track                       Liam J. Scanlon of Barre

 

Fire Science Technology                                    Dylan B. Jones of Townsend

 

Criminal Justice

-Law Enforcement Concentration                        Joshua T. Goliber of Buzzards Bay

-Corrections Concentration                                 Alicia Navarro of Fitchburg

 

Human Services                                                Rachel C. Vargeletis of Ashburnham

 

Dental Hygiene                                                  Mailoan Nguyen of Clinton

 

Complementary Health Care                               Lisa K. Kowalczyk of Gardner

 

Physical Therapist Assistant                              Courtney B. Hurley of Shrewsbury

 

Medical Assisting                                              Nicole B. Joseph of Gardner

 

Medical Laboratory Technology                         Anne M. Allan of Lunenburg

 

Nursing                                                             Elizabeth A. Brown of Leominster

 

Nursing – Evenings                                            Kristina D. Snay of Winchendon

LPN to ADN Bridge                                           Joseph K. Kum of Worcester

 

MEMORIAL AWARDS                                                        

 

Aspasia Anastos Award                                     Sofia G. McDonald Games of Barre

 

Judge Moore Awards                            Katrina K. Ung of Jaffrey, NH (Academic Excellence)

Rebekkah Dietz of Gardner (Excellence in Writing)

 

Peter J. Trainor Leadership Award                      Kimberly A. Cook of Gardner

 

Roberts Scholar                                                            Jessie Mascitti of Rindge, NH

 

  1. Marilyn Kiosses Scholarship             Colleen M. Suarez of Fitchburg

 

Craig Hamel Scholarship                                    Sabrina A. Pettigrew of Rutland

 

Melissa Herr Marsh Scholarship                         Sybil L. Sinclair of Ashburnham

 

Joseph S. Baldyga Veteran’s Fund                    Stanley Choruzek of Lancaster

 

MWCC Veteran’s Memorial Scholarship             Cristen C. Comptois of Hubbardston

 

James D. Murphy Scholarship                           Jasson Alvarado Gomez of Worcester

 

 

HONORS SOCIETY RECOGNITION

Honors Program Graduates

 

Lisa K. Kowalczyk of Gardner

Jana Murphy of Hubbardston

Marymar Perez Cruz of Fitchburg

Eden Shaveet of Hubbardston

 

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS        

 

All-USA Community College                                         Michel L. Cocuzza of Winchendon

Academic Team Nominees                                 Eden Shaveet of Hubbardston

 

2017 Newman Civic Fellow Award                       Jana Murphy of Hubbardston

 

Visions Program Award                                     Nicholas Coddington of Winchendon

Sarah L. Mello of Shirley

 

RX Program Award                                            Ann Giaquinto Scott of Barre

 

Best of English 101 Award                                 1st Place: Tara Dugan of Templeton

2nd Place: Amanda Pawlikowski of Gardner

3rd Place: Jessica I. McKay of Gardner

 

Mount Observer Scholarship                              Courtney L. Wentz of East Templeton

 

Best of Mathematics                                         Liam J. Scanlon of Barre

 

Ellen Daly Dental Hygiene Scholarship               Linda N. Mclean of Troy, NH

 

John Burton Award                                            Kayla Arianna Shabo of Paxton

 

Jean Tandy Award                                             Kyle W. Salam, Baldwinville

 

Carrie Progen Memorial Scholarship                   Kayla D. Rameau of Baldwinville

 

Carl Tammi Award                                             Colleen J. Moran of East Templeton

 

Keith Nivala Award                                            Nicholas R. Auffrey of Westminster

 

Sandy Signor Award                                          Jessica L. Decker of Westminster

 

Service Learning Scholarships                           Rachel C. Vargeletis of Ashburnham

Ryan B. Weston of Hubbardston

 

Sharyn Rice Award                                            Tianna M. Caisse of Gardner

Wayne Canty will be the recipient of Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2016 Service Above Self Award at the college’s graduation.

Business leader and community volunteer Wayne Canty will be the recipient of Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2017 Service Above Self Award at the college’s graduation.

Canty, CEO and owner of Heat Trace Products and MWCC Foundation member, will be recognized during the college’s 52nd commencement ceremony on May 17. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions within the 29 cities and towns that make up the college’s service area.

“Wayne Canty has made North Central Massachusetts the home of not only his business but many of his volunteer efforts. A multitude of organizations in the region have benefited from his experience, time and energy. I am pleased to recognize him with this year’s Service Above Self Award,” said President James Vander Hooven.

“I was just dumbfounded and humbled when I was informed of this award. I can honestly say that out of any of the recognitions and awards I’ve received up to this point in my career and my life, this one is the most meaningful,” said Canty.

Canty acquired Heat Trace Products in 2004, relocating the company’s factory from Clinton to Leominster. The company manufactures a line of self-regulating heat trace cables and products for freeze protection and process temperature maintenance for a wide range of industrial, commercial and residential applications.

Since establishing his company in North Central Massachusetts, Canty has become an active member of the business and charitable community in the region. He currently serves on the boards of the North Central MA Chamber of Commerce, and is the Vice Chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster.

Canty has been a member of the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation since 2013, after forming a strong working relationship with previous President Daniel Asquino, and he served as a member of the college’s Presidential Search Committee in 2016.
“It’s important for me to give back to the community and support the community as best I can both with my time and with my money,” said Canty. “I’ve been successful and I feel an obligation to give back to the community, whether it’s my hometown or where my business is established.”

He has also been involved in statewide and national business organizations, including being a board member of the Massachusetts Marketing Partnership, AIM International Business Council and the MA District Export Council (US Department of Commerce). Canty was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to the Massachusetts Marketing Partnership Board of Directors in 2011 and accompanied him to Brazil on a trade mission that year. He was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to the Economic Development Council in 2015.

Canty earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Quincy College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Suffolk University and holds a National Board Certification from the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker stands with Faith Kurtz at the 29 Who Shine event on Friday after she received her award

The MA Department of Higher Education recognized Mount Wachusett Community College’s Faith Kurtz along with 28 other top students from across Massachusetts during the seventh annual 29 Who Shine award ceremony on May 5 at the Massachusetts Statehouse.

The ceremony honored outstanding graduating students from each of the state’s 29 public colleges and universities, as well as each award recipients’ faculty or staff mentor. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker distributed the award to the students at the Statehouse ceremony.

“Congratulations today, but what I’m really excited about is what happens next,” said Baker explaining that all 29 students have already accomplished so much.

Faith Kurtz is a Pathways Early College Innovation student majoring in Liberal Arts and Sciences and currently has a 3.98 GPA. She will be graduating in May with her high school diploma and Associate Degree. She will be attending WPI in the Fall of 2017.

“With a career in engineering, my goal would not only be to support myself, but to improve as many people’s lives as possible along the way. I hope to use creative problem solving to meet the needs of my community and approach projects with compassion so that the solutions they create serve those who need them most,” Faith said. “My dream job is to design inventions which will improve the lives of others.”

Upon coming to MWCC, Faith threw herself into the community and logged over 200 volunteer hours in her first six months; embracing the motto that you won’t start succeeding until you start doing. Faith’s mentor Natalie Mercier, the Director of the Pathways Early College Innovation School and Early College Experience, said she has seen Faith transform during her time at the college and come into her own as a leader.

“Natalie Mercier has helped me through every major step in my college career at MWCC,” said Faith. “She has always made herself available when I have questions or need advice. She has been not only an invaluable resource, but also a kind and supportive friend who helped give me the confidence to believe I could succeed.”

In addition to Faith’s involvement at the college, which includes being the current President of the SGA and of the Music Club, she has taken part in the United Way Day of Caring as well as Awana.

MWCC President James Vander Hooven, Faith Kurtz, Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Chairman Chris Gabrieli, Faith’s mother Denise and the Director of the Pathways Early College Innovation School Natalie Mercier pose for a photo following the 29 Who Shine award ceremony on May 5.

Faith has been a strong leader throughout her time at MWCC serving in many capacities as a volunteer and a voice for the student body. At the Fall 2016 Community College Student Leadership Association Student Conference she was awarded the Lisa Milso Emerging Leader Award for her work on campus as an emerging leader. Her willingness to serve wherever needed along with her outgoing and friendly demeanor have made her an asset to the MWCC community.

The honorees, chosen because of their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service, contribute greatly to the civic life and economic well-being of the state, whether furthering their education or entering careers in Massachusetts in fields as diverse as education, public policy, medicine, creative arts and engineering.

“The outstanding 29 Who Shine students have made good on Massachusetts taxpayers’ investment in their education,” said Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education. “Every year the 29 Who Shine remind us that our public college and university graduates represent the future of the Commonwealth. They are here to learn, here to stay, and it is incredibly inspiring to see how each honoree is contributing to our common good.”

Mount Wachusett Community College Student Jana Murphy has been recognized for her dedication to the community by being named one of Campus Compact’s national 2017 Newman Civic Fellows Award winners.

Mount Wachusett Community College Student Jana Murphy has been recognized for her dedication and commitment to serving others by being named one of Campus Compact’s national 2017 Newman Civic Fellows Award winners.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year fellowship for community-committed college students from Campus Compact member institutions. Honorees are chosen for their leadership and ability to take action in pursuit of long-term, positive social change. This year, 273 students were selected to receive the award.

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

Murphy, a resident of Ayer, said she was most excited to be a part of this year’s cohort and learn from them how they handled situations and challenges and helped improve their schools.

“It will be interesting to see what the other fellows did at their campuses and what we can do here. Because I will be an AmeriCorps VISTA here again, I will be able to put into action what I learn as a Newman Fellow back here at the college,” said Murphy.

Each year, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors nominate one community-committed student from their institution for the fellowship. That is no guarantee that the nominee will receive the fellowship, said Shelley Nicholson who is the Director of the Senator Stephen M. Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement at Mount Wachusett Community College and has worked closely with Murphy during her time as a student volunteer and AmeriCorps VISTA. Murphy’s selection reflects all the hard work she has put in during her time at MWCC.

“Jana is truly dedicated to improving her community and helping her fellow students. She has a yearning to prove herself as a scholar and a citizen and for that I greatly admire her,” said Nicholson. “She was nominated for this honor based on the work she has done to embed civic engagement into the fabric of the college as much as for the recognition that this is a life-long commitment for Jana. She will continue to inspire others to be civically engaged as she moves forward with her career.”

Murphy has been engaged with the Mount Wachusett Community College community since her first semester serving as an S.O.S. (Students Serving Our Students) Peer Mentor, member of the Parents Support Club and a 2015-2016 Student Leader in Civic Engagement. In addition, Jana is now serving a term of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA dedicated to increasing student volunteerism in relation to hunger through a partnership with the Gardner Community Action Committee. In this capacity, she coordinated the United Way Day of Caring where over 44,000 meals were packaged by MWCC student, faculty, staff and alumni volunteers, beating all previous records. These meals were distributed to area food banks and our own students in need. Working in collaborating with community partners, she will be continuing to explore the social justice issues behind food insecurity and working hard to eliminate that barrier to educational success in the next year of her AmeriCorps *VISTA service.