Student Stories

Visions & RX awards May 15 2015

Visions and Rx program award winners Rhonda Albert, Renee Chandler, Kimberly Mertell and Stevie LaBelle with Rx senior advisor Catherine Maddox-Wiley, Executive Vice President Ann McDonald, and TRIO SSS Programs Director Gaurav Khanna.

During its annual awards ceremony, MWCC’s Visions and Rx programs celebrated the achievements of graduating and continuing students, welcomed back a program alumnus, and bid a tearful farewell to a longserving staff member who has taken on a new role at the college.

“We have a bumper crop of graduates this year,” said Gaurav Khanna, Director of  the TRIO Student Support Services Programs at MWCC. Many of the graduates are continuing on for bachelor’s degrees, with this year’s graduates transferring to Mount Holyoke College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, UMass Amherst, UMass Lowell, Fitchburg, Worcester and Westfield state universities, Nichols College, Hampshire Colleges and others.

Edwin Encarnacion, who participated in the Visions program in the mid 1990s shortly after moving to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, shared how the program and supportive staff were instrumental in helping him excel academically, professionally and personally as he transitioned to life in a new country.  After earning a degree in media arts, Encarnacion went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in communciations and instructional technology from Fitchburg State University. He now works as a test engineer for Image Stream Medical.

“I would not be where I am today without the visions Program. I knew I had the drive to succeed, but they made the road a lot easier.”

The Visions Program, which has been offered at MWCC for more than three decades, assists eligible students enrolled in any non-healthcare major. The Rx program, which focuses on supporting students pursuing healthcare majors, is graduating 35 students with associate degrees and certificates.

The programs, funded by the U.S. Department of Education TRIO grants,  help guide participants throughout the college experience and assist those who wish to transfer to a four-year institution by offering a variety of services, including intensive academic advising, transfer and personal counseling, professional tutoring and supplemental instruction. The Visions and Rx programs support income-eligible students, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities.

During the May 15 awards ceremony, graduating Visions Program students who collectively earned 55 associate degrees and certificates were recognized with a number of achievement awards. The President’s Award was presented to graduating Human Resources major Renée Chandler, who will continue studies at Fitchburg State University, and the Visions Award was presented to continuing student Stevie LaBelle, who is pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. Each will receive a $250 scholarship.

The Rx Award for a continuing student was presented to Kimberly Mertell, who plans to continue studies in Healthcare Information Management. The President’s Award was presented to Rhonda Albert, who is graduating with an associate degree in Human Services and transferring to Anna Maria College to earn a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

Program mainstay Gloria Correa expressed her admiration for the staff and students, and explained she will continue supporting students in her new position within MWCC’s Financial Aid office.

 

 

Ollari family 1

Dental Assisting graduate Stephanie Ollari and her parents, Tim and Sandy, prior to the pinning ceremony.

In between learning about patient care, x-rays and cavity prevention, Mount Wachusett Community College dental assisting student Stephanie Ollari consequently taught her classmates and professors a lesson or two about the life-saving gift of organ donation.

Just two months after donating one of her kidneys to save the life of her father, Tim, the Millers Falls resident stepped onto the stage with fellow graduates during the college’s traditional dental programs pinning ceremony on May 15.

“Steph, you are such an inspiration to all of us,” classmate Kaylynn Gaskell said from the podium. “You have so much determination in you. Thank you for being so brave and having such a kind heart. We love you!”

Gaskell’s words brought tears to the eyes of many attending the event, which celebrated the academic achievements of 12 dental assisting program graduates and 15 dental hygiene program graduates.

Ms. Ollari was joined by her father, mother Sandy, siblings Elysia and John, and boyfriend Bryce Molner, and others who have stood by the family for many years during Mr. Ollari’s health battles, which included a double-lung transplant in 2009 due to an inherited, genetic condition.

She has been waiting two years to be old enough undergo the surgery. Her father had been on a donor list for seven years and on dialysis for three, and originally was adamantly opposed to the idea of accepting a donation from one of his children. But when Ms. Ollari’s siblings said they would willingly do the same for her, should she ever need one, he finally acquiesced.

Ms. Ollari turned out to be a perfect match for her father. They underwent the multi-hour procedure on March 12, National Kidney Day, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and both are well on the mend.

“I always say if I had a third one, I’d do it again,” the gregarious 25-year old remarked prior to the pinning ceremony.

“She didn’t miss a beat,” said Cynthia Cadoret, chair of MWCC’s Dental Programs department, which provides trainign at the colleg’s satellite campus in Fitchburg, located within the Fitchburg Family Community Health Center. The surgery was scheduled around spring break, and with some adjustments to her clinical experience schedule, she was able to keep up with her coursework, Cadoret said.

“I am just so very, very proud of her,” Mr. Ollari said of his daughter, who plans to work in the field before returning to her studies to become a dental hygienist. “The dental assisting program was huge for her to get the experience and skills he needs. She was dedicated and determined.”

“She’s very inspiring,” said Sandy Ollari. “She’s been wanting to do this since day one.”

Dental Assisting pinning May 15 2015 guy

Dental Assisting graduate Albert Wiafe is pinned by faculty member Susan Graves during the ceremony.

The ninth annual pinning ceremony included congratulatory remarks from new program chair Cynthia Cadoret, Dr. Melissa Fama, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and guest speaker E. Jane Crocker, president of the American Dental Hygienists Association, Massachusetts, and dental hygiene class president Celine Grimley.

During the ceremony, the graduates were pinned by faculty members and several students were presented with awards.Class President Celine Grimley received the Dental Hygiene Department Award; Tasey Lemieux received the Dental Hygiene Curriculum Award; Samantha Dunn received the Johnson & Johnson Award; Jillian Legere received the Hu Friedy Golden Scaler Award; Sharon DiNardo received the Dental Assisting Department Award, and first year-student Alyssa Adoretti received the Ellen Daly Scholarship.

John Day Cathy Teague Phillip Stan President Daniel Asquino

President Daniel Asquino with award recipients John Day, Cathy Teague and Phillip Stan during MWCC’s annual Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony. VIEW MORE PHOTOS HERE

Dozens of area students received awards and scholarships during Mount Wachusett Community College’s annual Evening of Excellence academic awards ceremony, held May 14 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Leominster. The ceremony showcased students receiving national, state and regional awards in recognition of their performance inside the classroom as well as their contributions in the community.

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 $280,000 in scholarships this year.

“This is a fantastic time of the year,” President Daniel M. Asquino told the honorees. “It represents and celebrates your many accomplishments, academic pursuits, civic engagement and contributions to the community.”

The following awards were presented:

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

All USA Academic Team Nominees: Cathy M. Teague and Phillip M. Stan

Visions Program Award: Stevie LaBelle

RX Award: Kimberly Mertell

Best of English 101: John L. Alden, Karin J. May, Lara E. White

Sandy Signor Award: Diane L. Mascitti

Jean Tandy Award: Jessica E. Foley

2015 Newman Civic Fellow Award: John S. Day

Service Learning Scholarship: Lori G. Belliveau, Julianne R. Hutchins

CURRICULUM AWARDS

Accounting: Gregory A. Lizotte

Art: Corinne M. Goodrich

Automotive Technology: David S. Niall

Biological Science: Meghan K. Durgin

Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing: Savannah M. Cooke

Broadcasting and Electronic Media – Video/Film: Jordan S. Jubacz

Broadcasting and Electronic Media – Photography: Michael D. Taillon

Business Administration Career: Pamela A. Mercer

Business Administration Transfer: Derek L. Gaidanowicz

Clinical Laboratory Science: Prabha S. Amaresan

Computer Information Systems: Crystle R. Monahan

Criminal Justice Corrections: Lance M. Grieman

Criminal Justice Law Enforcement: Derek N. Gyles

Dental Hygiene: Tasey J. Lemieux

Early Childhood Education Career: Lauren E. Hildreth

Early Childhood Education Transfer: Heidi M. Lupien

Exercise and Sports Science: Patricia Rousseau

Fire Science Technology: John J. Gilmartin

General Studies: Charles M. Njaaga

Graphic & Interactive Design: Desiree M. Procell

Human Services: Renee P. Chandler

Legal Studies: Kimberly L. Bonk

Liberal Arts & Sciences: Kayara S. Burnett

Liberal Arts – Theatre: Austina L. Towle

LPN to ADN Bridge: Catherine W. Migwi

Medical Assisting: Tess L. Aucoin

Natural Resources: Michelle Nye

Nursing: Karlee E. McIver, Jared E. Robie

Pre-Engineering: Bryce K. Bodley-Gomes, Charles Gesner

MWCC FOUNDATION, INC. AWARDS

Alumni Scholarship: Alexander R. Campbell

Barbara Chaplin Memorial Scholarship: Heidi M. Lupien

Barnes & Noble Scholarship:  Bianca A. DiGiannantonio, Ashley Hancock

Carl Tammi Award: Crystle R. Monahan

Carrie Progen Memorial Scholarship: Kathryn M. Ahearn

Craig Hamel Scholarship: Lindsay M. Howard

Edith Baldyga Scholarship: Roxanna M. Figueroa

Ellen Daly Dental Hygiene Scholarship: Alyssa B. Adoretti

Father Adamo Scholarship: Renee P. Chandler

James D. Murphy Scholarship: Phillip M. Stan

Jonathan C. Craven Scholarship: John S. Day

John Burton Award: Amber Martinez

Joseph B. Ruth Scholarship: Mary Lisa Burns

Keith Nivala Award: Thomas J. Mullins

Marilyn Kiosses Scholarship: Kimberly L. Mills

Melissa Herr Marsh Scholarship: Amy L. Moisan

Millie McGuire Foundation Scholarship: Diane L. Mascitti

Mount Observer Scholarship: Bryan R. Nolan

Robert H. Gilman Memorial Scholarship: Stephanie A. Zamojski

Robert Weibel Award: Garrett J. Watson

Roberts Scholarship: Louis A. Ayisi

Sara Kajel Award: Amanda L. Stewart

Sharyn Rice Award: Aaron Trudeau

MWCC Veteran’s Memorial Scholarship: Aaron Trudeau
MEMORIAL AWARDS

Aspasia Anastos Award: Lara E. White

Judge Moore Award: Bryce K. Bodley-Gomes, Todd Perry

Peter J. Trainor Leadership Award: Thomas Berger
HONORS SOCIETY RECOGNITION

Honors Program Graduates: Victoria R. Allen, Ivy Benoit, Bryce K. Bodley-Gomes, Kayara S. Burnett, Mary Lisa Burns, Chantal A. Froystein, Colette M. Leon, Brandi Logue, Phillip M. Stan

First MWCC graduation 1966

MWCC’s first Commencement exercises took place on June 12, 1966 with 71 graduates. This year, the college will award more than 840 degrees and certificates to 781 graduates. Pictured, from left, 1966 graduates and award recipients Mary Pieloch and Doris Townsend; Dr. Arthur F. Haley, President; graduate and award recipient James Eacmen, Jr.; and Commencement speaker Dr. Howard B. Jefferson, president of Clark University. (Photo courtesy of The Gardner News)

Fifty years ago, lifelong Gardner resident Helen Lepkowski was among a handful of Mount Wachusett Community College faculty members to congratulate the college’s first graduating class.

On Wednesday, May 20, the former business division professor and her husband, Ed, a former MWCC trustee, will maintain their longstanding tradition of attending the celebration. Unlike the first ceremony, where 71 graduates received associate degrees in six academic programs, the college will award more than 840 associate degrees and academic certificates to 785 graduates enrolled in nearly 50 program options.

Mount Wachusett’s first commencement, held outdoors on Sunday, June 12, 1966 at the Elm Street campus, featured Dr. Howard B. Jefferson, the third president of Clark University, as the speaker.

“It was very small and it was just wonderful and intimate. It was a beautiful day,” Mrs. Lepkowski recalled. “It’s always a wonderful opportunity to be there and there are always people you know who are graduating or are there for the occasion.”

MWCC’s 50th Commencement ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the college’s Fitness & Wellness Center.

Among this year’s highlights, Gardner native Kevin Berg, executive vice president of production for CBS Network Entertainment in Los Angeles, will deliver the commencement address. Berg also will receive an honorary doctorate of Humanities, as well as the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award.

Community leader and long-serving volunteer James O. Garrison will receive is the recipient of Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2015 Service Above Self Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions within the 29 cities and towns that make up the college’s service area. Mr. Garrison, former MWCC Board of Trustees chair and benefactor of the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education scholarships, will receive an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters. Prior to the commencement ceremony, President Daniel M. Asquino and the Board of Trustees will recognize Mr. Garrison and his wife, Peggy, for their generous gifts and commitment to students during a rededication of the Garrison Center.

Business Administration graduate Yasmine Kanaan has been selected to deliver the Class of 2015 Student Address.

Five retiring professors will receive emeriti status: Joel Anderson, Media Arts & Technology; Paul Laverty, Mathematics; John McNally, Health Sciences, Fitness & Wellness; Elena Natalizia, Criminal Justice; and John Reilly, Business Administration.

New this year, two food trucks will be on site to curb appetites: The Dogfather Truck of Worcester, and Dylan and Pete’s Ice Cream Truck of Boston. The MWCC Alumni Association will return with flowers for sale, and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society will conduct its 12th annual Project Graduation food drive. Graduates and their guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the commencement rehearsal and/or ceremony. Donations will be delivered to the Gardner Community Action Committee, the Winchendon Community Action Committee, and MWCC’s Students SOS office.

Cathy Teague

Cathy M. Teague

The state Department of Higher Education will kick off the 2015 commencement season by recognizing top students from across Massachusetts at the fifth annual 29 Who Shine award ceremony on May 14 at the State House. The award honors 29 outstanding public college and university graduates, one from each community college, state university and UMass campus, for their academic achievement and community service.

Mount Wachusett Community College student Cathy May Teague of Winchendon will be among the students recognized by Governor Charlie Baker, state education officials, campus presidents and others attending the ceremony.

“I want to congratulate the outstanding Class of 2015 graduates for the recognition they have received and thank them for their substantial contributions to their local communities,” said Gov. Baker. “Each of the ‘29 Who Shine’ honorees, in addition to being an accomplished student, is civically engaged in ways that improve the quality of life in Massachusetts.”

“Each one of our 29 honorees is from Massachusetts and planning to remain in Massachusetts,” noted Richard M. Freeland, commissioner of higher education. “Through their dedicated scholarship and deep engagement in their local communities, these students are making good on the taxpayers’ investment in their education.”

A lifelong resident of Massachusetts, Teague has her hands full as a full-time student, a mother of three young sons, and stepmother to two teenagers and a 20-year-old soldier serving in Afghanistan. Yet she makes it a priority to carve out time to serve fellow students as president of Mount Wachusett Community College’s Student Government Association, vice president of the college’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and mentor to peers who are struggling with academic or personal issues by volunteering with the Students Serving Our Students (SOS) program.

Teague has taken a leadership role in civic engagement on and off campus, participating in many endeavors such as helping to build a home with Habitat for Humanity of North Central Massachusetts, food drives to assist those in need, and fundraising to benefit student-centered campus initiatives and community nonprofit organizations. As president of the SGA, she spearheaded the college’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which served more than 80 families this past year. Additionally, she and her husband, Jason, reach out to help others in as many ways as possible, for example opening their home on Thanksgiving to veterans.

A first-generation college student, Teague participated in the college’s Rx program, a TRIO Student Support Services program designed specifically for health care majors.

“It became clear that in order for me to have a stable career, I needed a college education,” Teague said. “Because of the support, scholarships and positive encouragement I received at Mount Wachusett, I have grown into a confident person with a clear path.”

An outstanding student academically, Teague was recognized this spring as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team and nominated to the All-USA Academic Team. She has been named to the President’s List and the Dean’s list for academic achievement and will be recognized as a Civic Scholar at Commencement for her extensive service learning and volunteer work. This spring, she also was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

Teague is applying to become an AmeriCorps VISTA, and plans to continue her studies at MWCC to earn a Physical Therapist Assistant degree to achieve her career goal of working with children as a PTA.

The 29 Who Shine campaign asks each honoree to select a faculty or staff mentor to accompany them to the celebration in Boston. Teague named Elaine R. Gagne, an adjunct professor of English, reading and first year experience. The Athol resident also works as a technology teacher for grades K-6 at the Orange Elementary School.

“Professor Gagne has given me endless encouragement through personal and academic challenges. She helped me unlock my potential, allowing me to grow not only as a student but to grow into many leadership roles. She also taught me that if my dreams don’t scare me, they are not big enough,” Teague said.

“I am so proud of Cathy. When I had her in FYE, I knew she was going to go far,” Gagne said.

Sam Leveillee MWCC GID exhibit 2015

MWCC student Samuel Leveillee recevied Best in Show in the collegiate category for his digital photo art “Let Your Imagination Soar.”

For the first time, Mount Wachusett Community College’s annual spring graphic design exhibit was opened to high school students, resulting in two best in show awards in the high school and collegiate divisions, as well as dozens of awards in categories ranging from website, magazine and logo design to DVD cover, portrait illustration and advertising.

The juried exhibit, currently on display at the college through the summer, featured 75 pieces in 14 categories created by MWCC Graphic and Interactive Design students, as well as 25 pieces in five categories created by high school students. The college received more than 75 submissions from students at Oakmont Regional High School, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, and Murdock High School.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our students and faculty, and was thrilled to share the design exhibit and awards reception with the students and teachers from area high schools,” said Professor Leslie Cullen, chair of MWCC’s Graphic and Interactive Design department. “This was our most well-attended, successful opening receptions yet. We hope to expand the show next year to include more high schools.”

This academic year, the college revamped its Computer Graphic Design programs in print and web design into Graphic & Interactive Design program, which combines studies in both areas. More than 100 people attended a recent opening reception and awards ceremony, including MWCC GID faculty and alumni, graphic design teachers from Oakmont and Monty Tech and their students and families, as well as MWCC alumnus Robert Parks, who performed on acoustic guitar for the event.

MWCC student Samuel Leveillee of Templeton, won best in show in the college category for his digital photo piece, Let Your Imagination Soar. Leveillee, who is graduating in May and transferring to Hampshire College to pursue a bachelor’s degree, also received best in category awards for magazine design, digital illustration, and web & interactive design, as well as honorable mention in the DVD cover category.

Laurynn Bedard Oakmont RHS MWCC GID exhibit 2015

Oakmont Regional High School student Laurynn Bedard won Best in Show in the high school division in the digital illustration category for her digital self-portrait.

Oakmont sophomore Laurynn Bedard of Westminster won best in show among high school students for her digital self-portrait, which also one best of category in digital illustration.“To have art work that was showcased at Mount Wachusett Community College was an incredible honor,” she said. “I have never participated in an exhibit that was strictly for the appreciation of graphic design work, but I have participated in other local community art shows that encompassed mixed media art and graphic art. I was very shocked and immensely humbled to receive the Best of Show award for the high school categories. There were so many talented students that submitted fantastic work. I can’t express how grateful I was and still am for the award.  I enjoyed the show, and it is a great memory that I will not forget,” she said.

“The opportunity to have Oakmont students submit their graphic design work to a local show that was focused on graphic design was awesome; usually that is not the case, said Oakmont graphic design teacher Lawrence M. Szalay. “It was well received by the Oakmont students. They expressed enjoying both the high school and collegiate work that was exhibited. Oakmont students had success and it was truly a great experience for me to witness the pride they have in creating strong graphic design work. The awards and accolades presented to students on all levels in all categories were great.”

News staff photo by KATIE LANDECK Mount Wachusett Community College nursing students Lori Belliveau and Diana Bronson give a presentation about their recent trip to Haiti and encourage other students to sign up for the Mount’s upcoming trip in January 2016.
Mount Wachusett Community College nursing students Lori Belliveau and Diana Bronson give a presentation about their recent trip to Haiti and encourage other students to sign up for the Mount’s upcoming trip in January 2016.

GARDNER – When the first team of Mount Wachusett Community College nursing students came back from Haiti in January, they all said the same thing: we want to go back.

“There is a lot of beauty (in Haiti),” said nursing student Lori Belliveau while presenting the trip to other nursing students on Monday. “And it makes you think a little bit about what we have versus what they don’t have.”

The nursing students traveled to Haiti with Forward in Health, a locally started nonprofit that is providing health care to 7,500 people in the impoverished Fonde Fred region of Haiti. The trip was organized by Forward in Health cofounder Paula Mulqueen.

The students worked in health clinics, visited orphanages and nursing schools, and also had the chance to explore a little bit of the island nation.

The Mount is planning another trip for next January. The trip costs about $1,600 per person, but students found they were about to raise money to pay for the trip.

“It didn’t cost me anything,” said Ms. Belliveau. “My friends, family and coworkers were very generous.”

There is also talk of creating an exchange program where Mount Wachusett students would have the ability to live with and attend classes with nursing students in Haiti for a week.

Then the Haitian student would be able to attend classes at Mount Wachusett for a week.

Ideally, Mount Wachusett officials said, the students in the exchange program would be able to speak at least a little French.

By the next trip, Mount Wachusett students will be able to work in the clinic that Forward in Health will officially open this summer after years of fundraising and overcoming numerous hurdles, including the devastating earthquake of 2010.

“We are at the brink of opening the clinic doors,” Ms. Mulqueen told the audience. “We are doing a massive inventory and a massive setup. The scheduled date to open is Aug. 4. Great stuff is happening.”

The clinic will include a triage unit and offer permanent medical assistance to the region.

Since Ms. Mulqueen’s first trip to Haiti in 2002, she has traveled to the country 52 times, taking anyone who wanted to go and was willing to work, ranging from high school students to surgeons.

“International nursing is suddenly a hot topic,” she said. “Everyone is now going all over the world to serve.”

When choosing where to go and with whom to serve, Ms. Mulqueen recommends looking into an organization’s history in the country, the sustainability of its work, the compatibility of its objectives with that of the volunteer, and the group’s safety record.

For more information about traveling with Forward in Health, visit forwardinhealth.org.

The Gardner News, Katie Landeck, May 5, 2015

PTK SOS 2015

Phi Theta Kappa co-advisor Fagan Forhan, second from left, with PTK members and Students SOS office mentors John Day, Cathy Teague, Phil Stan, Stevie LaBelle, Carrie DeCosta, Jana Murphy, Jennifer Snow and Chelsea Garrity during the PTK induction ceremony.

This spring, MWCC’s Phi Delta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society inducted 85 new members, and presented sizeable donations to community organizations from funds raised through a variety of events.

During the chapter’s induction ceremony on May 4, chapter officers and members presented a $750 check to the Gardner Community Action Council, a $750 check to the Winchendon Community Action Council, and a $1,000 to the student-run Students Serving Our Students program at MWCC.

New inductees include: Marcus Altman, Justin Arsenault, Louis Ayisi, Ivy Benoit, Yvonne Bentley-Wandless, Thomas Berger, Adam Bergeron, John Blombach, Bryce Bodley-Gomes, Cynthia Boucher, Kaci Bradshaw, Lisa Clark, Kyle Cole, Emanuel Corbeil, Tiffany Cranfill, Rebecca Daniel, Carrie DeCosta, Bianca DiGiannantonio, Khaien Donawa, Julie Edwards, Krista Felaco, Roxanna Figueroa, Francisco Figueroa-Vazquez, Cassandra Fontaine, Chantal Froystein. Dawn Fuller, Carly Gagne, Sara Gallant, Paul Galvin, Chelsea Garrity, Corinne Goodrich, Jamie Grant, Celine Grimley, Paulette Hachey, Stephen Hall, Kaitlyn Jozefiak, Yasmine Kanaan, Carol Karuci-Mirolli, Sara Khan, Helen Koge, Rose LaFargue, Emily Lapinskas, Cassondra Lavigne, Samantha Lazo, Kimberley LeBlanc, Elie LeMieux, Leslie Lupien, Paula Lynde, Trevor            Malerbi, Tammy Mariani, Leanne McCarthy, Ellen McGahan, Catherine Migwi, Marissa Mitchell, Lauren Molnar, Jana Murphy, Eliud Mwangi, Dorcas Mwathi, Kimberli Nutting, Todd Perry, Michelle Racette, Karren Ricci, Bryan Richard, Magaly Rios, Nathan  Roberts, Tasha Rocheford, Darlene Rossi, Angelica Ryan, Erik Salmonson, Jacqueline Scribner, Brendan Shea, Jennifer Snow, Trenton Solomon, Silvana Sosa, Phillip Stan, Rachel Sullivan, Teresa Tambling, Austina Towle, Aaron Trudeau, Mary Volpe, Christopher Waye, Melissa Wilbur and Robert Williams.

 

Gardner Mayor, MWCC Trustee and Alumnus Mark Hawke with 2015 MWCC Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Inductees.

Gardner Mayor, MWCC Trustee and Alumnus Mark Hawke with 2015 MWCC Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Inductees.

Gardner Mayor, MWCC Trustee and Alumnus Mark Hawke shared lessons learned throughout his career in business and public service with 17 Mount Wachusett Community College students who were inducted into the Chi Gamma Chapter of Alpha Beta Gamma, an international business honor society, at the 25th annual induction ceremony, Thursday, April 23.

After graduating from MWCC, Hawke transferred to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, then went on to earn an MBA from Anna Maria College. After pursuing a career as a financial analyst, he took a pay cut to take a job with the City of Gardner, and learned he loved the work so much, he wanted to run for Mayor. Now serving his eighth year as mayor, he still loves the work. “In this job, I can see the results of our work. If we plan to build a playground, we build a playground. If we say we are going to fill a pothole, we fill a pothole and we see the result.”

He shared several pieces of advice gathered from his own career and lessons learned from other business leaders. “Never stop learning, never stop trying, and surround yourself with a good team,” he said. He challenged the students to work hard and always to strive to surpass expectations. “You will be noticed and rewarded.” He also credited Mount Wachusett Community College for putting him on a path of academic success. “It is an intimate setting and you really get to know the faculty, the staff and the college leadership,” he explained.

To be eligible for membership into Alpha Beta Gamma, students must be enrolled in a business curriculum, have completed 15 academic credit hours in a specific degree program and demonstrate academic excellence by attaining a grade point average of 3.0 or above. At MWCC, the programs include Business Administration, Paralegal Studies, Computer Information Systems, Graphic & Interactive Design, and Medical Assisting.

The Chi Gamma chapter has a long history of community involvement, including activities to benefit NEADS, a Princeton-based service assistance dog organization; the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center; the House of Peace and Education in Gardner; local food pantries; military troops serving overseas; and the national Alzheimer’s Association.