Kevin Berg, second from left, was honored as one of the 2017 Alumni of the Year by the American Association of Community Colleges. The event was also attended by his wife Donna, MWCC Dean Academic and Institutional Technology Vincent Ialenti and MWCC President James Vander Hooven.

Mount Wachusett Community College Alumnus Kevin Berg was honored as one of the 2017 Alumni of the Year by the American Association of Community Colleges at an awards ceremony highlighting the ability of community colleges to transform lives.

Berg was one of five community college alumni recognized for their outstanding achievements at the AACC’s 97th Annual Convention on Tuesday, April 25.

Berg is executive vice president of production at CBS Network Entertainment Group. He’s been responsible for the launch and success of the CSI and NCIS franchises, Blue Bloods, Elementary, and more. But as a young man growing up in Central Massachusetts, Berg was aimless. He took a year off after high school to work at one of the region’s many chair factories. He didn’t want to do it forever, so he enrolled at Mount Wachusett Community College and studied communications. After college, he did a brief stint at a Boston radio station and then headed to Los Angeles. After knocking on doors, he ended up with a job with an award-winning director.

At the ceremony, Berg reflected on his time at MWCC where he said students are given an opportunity to grow as well as learn.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for your achievements – however I feel that all I really did here was to get lucky and pick an excellent institution that gave me the basis to become who I am professionally,” Berg said. “The Mount was, and is, the place that takes high school kids and turns them into working world adults.”

Now a success in his field, Berg also has become a philanthropist. He served five years as a member of the Board for the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a leading charitable organization. And he’s involved with Save the Children and several community impact projects. He’s also helped countless people start careers in the industry. He’s known for answering cold calls and taking chances on people. Berg embodies MWCC’s mission to prepare individuals for lives of fulfillment, leadership, and service in a diverse and global society.


ECE alumni event Nov 2015MWCC’s Early Childhood Education program recently hosted its fourth annual alumni event at the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education. It was an evening full of friendship, inspiration, and networking. More than 80 current students, faculty, staff, Garrison teachers, alumni and their families attended the Seuss-inspired event.

Alumni events, such as this one, are an important opportunity for current students to make connections with alum who may work in the field.

“These connections not only provide career opportunities but more importantly, set the foundation for a supportive network” said current student Andrea Bartlett.

Emily Wuoti, a December graduate and Leadership in Early Childhood Education student, spearheaded this year’s event. “I wanted to create an event to help inspire current students who are new or may be doubtful that this is the right field for them.” She invited alumni to share their success stories about their journeys and offer advice to current students who may not know where their journey will take them.

This particular event posed a question to all who were involved: Where do you see yourself going from here?

“This was a great opportunity to really think about goals and plans” said current student Kelly Winship.

Additionally, Student Life Coordinator Sandy Arsenault, a long-time friend of the Early Education Club, was honored at the event.

MWCC Early Childhood Education faculty Dr. Rosanne Morel, Dr. Maryann Kane and Professor Maureen Provost “are so very proud of the exceptional work, leadership, professionalism and passion” Emily exhibited throughout her time at Mount Wachusett Community College, Professor Provost said. “She exemplifies the expectations we have for our students and we are looking forward to seeing ‘the places SHE will go’ as she continues her journey. Children and families are fortunate indeed to have Emily in the field.”

Emily Wuoti and Maureen Provost

Mary Bergevin, Paula D'Entremont, and Sue Hermanson

MWCC’s first nursing program Director Paula d’Entremont, center, with members of the first graduating class, Mary Bergevin and Sue Hermanson.

Alumni, faculty and staff of the MWCC Nursing Program gathered on June 25 at the Gardner Campus to reconnect and celebrate four decades of nursing education at MWCC. Alumni in attendance were representative of each decade since the program was established.

Mary Bergevin and Susan Hermanson were on hand to represent the first graduating class of 1974. “This is absolutely wonderful seeing everyone together” commented Ms. Hermanson. “It took 40 years, but was well worth the wait.”  Mary Bergevin remarked that “It is exciting to reflect on the differences and advances that have been made when comparing how we learned with what the students have available to them today.”

The event featured a session on “Laughter Yoga” as well as tours of the new Sim Lab and information about continuing education programs.

Judy Fredette, ADN Nursing Program Chair who organized the event, commented “It is exciting for us, as faculty, to reconnect with our former students and retired colleagues to find out how they are doing in life, to learn if they ever went beyond MWCC in their education, where they are working now, what we did right and what we can do better.”

Many in attendance expressed their wishes to make the Nursing Alumni Reunion a regular event. If interested in helping to plan future events, please email

– Carol Jacobson

Nursing Alumni Reunion

May 28, 2014

Mount Wachusett Community College is hosting a Nursing Alumni Reunion on Wednesday, June 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the South Café of the Gardner campus.

The event is free to all MWCC nursing alumni and will feature a session on “Laughter Yoga” light refreshments, prizes, tours of the new Sims Lab, networking with former classmates and professors, and information about continuing education programs.

Established more than four decades ago, MWCC’s nursing program has graduated thousands of students who went on to build careers as Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and in other areas of health care.

Reservations are requested. To register, contact Associate Degree Nursing Program Chair Judy Fredette at 978-630-9328 or email


Pictured at the January 15 alumni professional development workshop: Alumni Association board members, from left, Karl Hakkarainen, Conni Brown, Mark Geoffroy, and President Daniel M. Asquino.

The MWCC Alumni Relations office kicked off the new Alumni Association Professional Development Series with an interactive networking workshop on January 15. The event featured Debbie Lefevbre, a certified business life coach for professionals who presented, “How to Truly Connect with Others to Enhance Your Career.”  The workshop focused on the principles of effective communication.  The event, held in the Fidelity Bank Corporate Center’s Community Room in Leominster, was sponsored in part by Fidelity Bank.

President Daniel M. Asquino welcomed participants and shared his enthusiasm and support for the college’s new alumni programming.  “Our alumni are a very important part of our college community. The college is proud to offer this increased investment in our alumni through professional development programming, social events and other initiatives,” he said.

Additional professional development workshops will be offered in partnership with the college’s Human Resources Department on March 25 and April 22. Both workshops are free will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on the Gardner campus and will focus on developing leadership abilities and customer service skills. Registration information will be available in the monthly Alumni eNews, on the alumni web page and will be posted on the Alumni Association’s Facebook and Linked In pages.  In addition, a social event, “MWCC Night at the Worcester Sharks” is planned for April 11.

For more information on alumni programming or how you can join the MWCC Alumni Association, contact Carol Jacobson in the Alumni Relations Office at 978-630-9306 or



Recent Fitchburg High School alumni who participated in MWCC’s Access & Transition programs shared their experiences with current high school students. From left, Principal Jeremy Roche, Christian Marcial, ia L. Street, Qiury Velez, Stephanie Atteridge, Maggie Newsham, Matt Leger and Assistant GEAR UP Director Victor Rojas.

College students who participated in MWCC’s access and transition programs returned to their former high schools in January to share their insight into transitioning to college life. Panel discussions took place in several locations, including Fitchburg, Murdock, Gardner and Athol high schools.

MWCC’s Division of Access and Transition sponsored the events in conjunction with the schools’ guidance departments. Many of the alumni were past participants of grant-funded college access & transition programs offered by MWCC, including Educational Talent Search, GEAR UP and Upward Bound Math and Science. The college students are now attending private and public colleges and universities of all sizes.

“High school students hear from teachers and advisors all the time about the increased expectations, challenges and opportunities of college. Sometimes it blends together and loses its impact. Hearing that same message from current college students who they recognize as peers drives that message home. That is the aim of the alumni events,” said GEAR UP Director Andrew Goodwin.

Topics ranged from the college selection process to financial aid, study habits, dorm life, applying for scholarships and student activities. The size and location of schools factored heavily into many of the students’ decisions, whether their preference was for a large college or small campus, close to home or further away.

Early Childhood Education alumni with Professors Rosanne Morel, Maureen Provost and Maryann Kane during the reunion.

Nearly 100 alumni, students and faculty of MWCC’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program gathered November 19 at the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education to celebrate the ECE program’s annual alumni gathering. The theme for this year’s event was Planting the seed of leadership in others. Harvesting the leadership in yourself.

“We love our fall alumni event. Our students plan and create an educational and inviting service learning event. This gives them a feeling for the importance of planning and hosting events that welcome families and community members” said Associate Professor Maureen J. Provost. “We are excited to see our alumni and hear about their important work in early education and the positive impact they have on children and families’ lives! It is wonderful to welcome them back to where they began their careers” Provost added.

“I love coming back here, because everything started here,” said 2011 graduate and former Student Trustee Chrissy Lajoie, who has since earned a bachelor’s degree from Fitchburg State University and is now working with toddlers and families as an early intervention specialist in Worcester.

“It’s such a great feeling, when you come back here, even though I graduated 20 years ago,” said Maria Paulino, owner of Busy Bees preschool in Fitchburg. “You come back and feel like you’re home.” Paulino, a 1988 graduate of MWCC, also went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Fitchburg State. Nine years ago, she purchased the long-established Busy Bees preschool, which serves 50 children with a staff of eight that includes other MWCC alumni she has hired.

In addition to the alumni reunion, students from the Home, School and Community Relations and Leadership in Early Education courses showcased their fall semester projects, highlighting important information for families and communities. This essential service learning project is focused on deepening students’ understanding of serving others.

President Asquino receives an anniversary citation from Senator Stephen Brewer.

As Mount Wachusett Community College’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration comes to a close, the varied events and activities provided an opportunity for members of the college and greater community to reflect on the past, reconnect with classmates and faculty, and make a positive impact on future students.

Signature 50th anniversary events sponsored by the MWCC Foundation throughout the year, including a Presidential Harvest Ball held October 5 at the Chocksett Inn in Sterling, raised more than $120,000 for the foundation’s endowment for student scholarships.

MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino thanked the college’s many partners and sponsors for their dedication throughout the anniversary celebration, as well as for their support of the college’s past, present and future initiatives.

During the Harvest Ball, Senator Stephen M. Brewer stopped in to present college officials with a Senate citation congratulating MWCC on its milestone anniversary and positive impact the institution has had on North Central Massachusetts and the state over the past five decades.

“It is our inter-generational responsibility to help level the playing field for all students who show the desire and the talent to obtain the benefits of higher education,” Brewer said.  “Mount Wachusett Community College has been providing these opportunities for 50 years.  The English language has over a million words in it, those of us in public policy ought to single out the special word of ‘opportunity ‘as a beacon of inspiration to those who dream big dreams.”

Trustee Scott Howard, executive vice president of premier sponsor Bemis Associates, provided a celebratory toast. “Here’s to all the students, staff, leaders and supporters of Mount Wachusett Community College for 50 years of work strengthening our community, our country and the world by providing outstanding educational opportunities to all regardless of race, gender or economic situation.  And here’s to the ongoing work to continue expanding our impact for the next 50 years and beyond.”

MWCC’s art department greeted former students during an Oct. 10 alumni art exhibit reception on Oct. 10 in the East Wing Gallery. Pictured, from left, Professors Joyce Miller, Gene Cauthen, Tom Matsuda, department founder Jean Tandy, and John Pacheco.

Other fall events included an alumni art exhibition featuring the artwork of more than 30 graduates and a special alumni showing of the 1960’s themed production of Shout, the Mod Musical at Theatre at the Mount. More than 200 alumni and friends of the college attended the Oct. 10 events.

“It is wonderful to see such a large turnout of MWCC alumni, and friends of the college, here to celebrate our alumni art exhibition and to enjoy a special performance of Shout,” said Carol Jacobson, Associate Director of Alumni Relations.

50th Anniversary Sponsors included premier sponsor Bemis Associates, Inc.; Mr. & Mrs. James Garrison; Scott Howard; MWCC Barnes & Noble Bookstore; The Clementi Family Trust; Data Guide Cable Corporation; Mr. and Mrs. Jay Drake; Enterprise Bank; IC Federal Credit Union; Nypro Foundation; Rollstone Bank & Trust; Advanced Cable Ties, Inc., Athol Savings Bank; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Couvares; Ms. Ellen Daly; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Heath; Simonds International; Workers’ Credit Union; and Gardner Visiting Nurses Association.

Harvest Ball sponsors included premier sponsor Bemis Associates, Inc.; Heywood healthcare, Chocksett Inn; Colonial Hotel; Aubuchon Hardware; GFA Federal Credit Union; Tyco/SimplexGrinnell; HealthAlliance Hospital; Fitchburg State University; Dunkin Donuts; Windmill Florist; Ed Collier Photography; Fidelity Bank; Clinton Hospital; Venning  & Jacques, PC; MASSMedia; Paul DiGeronimo and Katharine Marino; and Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School.

Alumni Art Exhibit. “Ceramic Head” by Chris London.

Mount Wachusett Community College continues its 50th anniversary celebration in October with an alumni art exhibition and a special performance of Shout: The Mod Musical for alumni, students, the college community and friends of the college.

An evening of the arts will take place Thursday, Oct. 10 featuring an alumni reception from 6 to 8 p.m. in the East Wing Gallery and a special performance of Shout at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the Theatre at the Mount performance have been rolled back to the 1960s price of $6. Admission includes the alumni reception, the art exhibit and performance.

Set in the 1960s, Shout tracks five groovy gals as they come of age during the liberating days that made England swing and features chart-topping hits such as “To Sir with Love,” “Downtown,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love me,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “Goldfinger.” Members of the ensemble cast of include Fatima Elmi, Shani Farrell, Melissa Gates, Alison Laverdiere, Chelsea Young, Katrina Caouette, Amanda Feeley, Amanda Lawton, and Olivia Ryan.

Theatre tickets can be purchased online at or at the box office, 978-630-9388. Additional performances of Shout will take place through Oct. 13

The art exhibition will include the work of more than 30 alumni of MWCC’s art program and the opportunity to reminisce and reconnect with former professors and classmates.

“During my studies at Mount Wachusett Community College in the early 90’s, I was a painting major and an art history minor,” said Alex Magay, director of the art department at The Winchendon School and a member of the MWCC art department advisory council.

“I studied painting under John Pacheco, Gene Cauthen and Jean Tandy. They provided me as a young artist with direction and insight that would fuel my artistic development, and insight, for many years to come. My experiences in Gardner at the Mount helped prepare me to pursue and complete my next two degrees at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.”


Alumnae Return for Art Exhibit

September 24, 2012

Artists Samantha Hanson and Naida Knox

MWCC alumnae Naida Knox and Samantha Hanson returned to the Gardner campus last week for an artists’ reception in the East Wing Gallery. Their exhibit, “New Work in Clay,” continues through Oct. 12.

Ms. Knox, a 2011 graduate, created her stoneware pieces using hand-building techniques such as pinching, coiling or slab building. Most of the pieces were glazed and fired in the electric kiln, with the exception of beautiful orange and black, smoke-patterned pit-fired work. Many of the high-fire glazes used on the pieces were uniquely mixed by the artist. A whimsical teapot was inspired by a painting by Toulouse Lautrec and the other pieces were initially inspired by the rock formations and natural structures the artist saw on her trip to Utah. Her delightful sense of humor and inventive dialogue with the clay, as a medium in an art tradition, is revealed in all the work.

“When I create a piece I have an idea, but it isn’t fully formed. As I work on the piece, the piece creates itself,” she said. “At the beginning this work was inspired by natural structures from Utah – a natural growing from the earth, and then my whimsical sense of humor took over. I was surprised at how my inner self and thoughts revealed itself.”

Ms. Knox graduated in May 2011 with an associate degree in art, having previously taken classes at Massachusetts College of Art. She has won several awards from local art organizations and continues to be actively involved in the Greater Gardner Art Association, Gardner Area League of Artists, Circle of Artists and the Princeton Portrait Society.

Ms. Hanson created her work in stoneware, also using hand-building techniques as well as the potter’s wheel. As an advanced student in ceramics, Ms. Hanson made it her goal to try as many different firing and decorative techniques as possible. This beautiful body of work includes chicken forms that have been burnished with terrasigillata and pit-fired, tall vessels decorated with slips or underglazes, sculpted surfaces with varying incised marks, and several pieces that are bisque-fired and waiting for future decisions about color and surface.

“Growing up on a farm was an amazing experience. It taught me to work hard and to respect everything in life,” she said. “I have become more courageous and less timid. This new self-worth has allowed me to explore my love of working with clay. Clay is seductive and once you learn the basics it begs to be made into something beautiful. My recent clay pieces have been inspired from the colorful, playful ink drawings in my sketchbook. The pieces are created by exploring the relationship between the surface of the clay and the new and interesting spaces that I can create. Inspiration for these pieces comes from anywhere and everywhere, my daily life, everything in nature, art history, architecture, modern art and different cultures.”

Ms. Hanson graduated in May 2012 with an associate degree in art and is transferring to Maine College of Art, where she was accepted with scholarship.