MWCC Foundation

Chris JasonFor one night, Theatre at the Mount will become “Sinatra at the Mount,” as Mount Wachusett Community College welcomes Chris Jason and the Sinatra Live Big Band on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Jason is considered one of the premier Sinatra interpreters in New England and has been performing as the “Chairman of the Board” for the last 15 years. Along with his eight-member band, Jason plays tribute to Sinatra over 200 times per year, capturing the legendary singer’s cadence, swagger and elegance.

This benefit concert presented by the MWCC Foundation will provide continued scholarship support to deserving students.

General admission tickets are $40. VIP tickets are also available for $80, which includes reserved seating and a complimentary cocktail reception.

Tickets are available by email, phone or at the Theatre at the Mount Box Office Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Email cdefosse1@mwcc.mass.edu, or call 978-630-9387 or 978-630-9276.

Event sponsors include North Middlesex Savings Bank, Heat Trace Products LLC, Heywood Hospital, W.E. Aubuchon Co., Inc., Simonds International Corporation, GFA Credit Union and Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about Theatre at the Mount, visit mwcc.edu/tam. To learn more about Chris Jason and the Sinatra Live Big Band, visit chrisjasonentertainment.com.

 

_MG_6094

MWCC art major Amber Martinez participates in a Raku firing at Snow Farm Craft Center in Williamsburg, Mass. With funding provided by the MWCC Foundation, the art department will create an area on the Gardner campus for Raku and pit-firing ceramics.

With the start of the new academic year, the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation has provided funds totaling $46,044 for eight innovative projects conceived by college faculty and staff.

“Current community college funding is such that we are often left wishing we had more resources to experiment with new and innovative pilot programs that have the potential to dramatically alter or create new opportunities for our students and the community,” said MWCC Foundation Executive Director Carla DeFosse. “The Innovation Fund allows us to financially support inventive staff and faculty and give them the opportunity to implement their concepts.”

Dean of Students Jason Zelesky will collaborate with the offices of Disability Services, Student Services and the Visions program to acquire new adaptive technology equipment to support students with documented disabilities. Enhancing the college’s inventory of assistive technologies will enhance academic success and encourage more students with disabilities to attend MWCC. The project will emphasize iOS applications and provide five iPads for student use in the classroom and during tutoring sessions.

Art Professor Joyce Miller received funding to create a program and fundraiser centered on Raku, a pottery tradition dating back to 16thcentury Japan. Available to art majors and non-art majors, as well as credit and noncredit students, the equipment will enhance the college’s art department to further attract prospective students. An exterior area will be designated for Raku and pit-firing ceramics. In addition to supporting the college’s art program, the equipment will support area high school art programs and their students by offering field trip opportunities and chances to participate in pit-firing or Raku firing, which in turn will assist with college recruitment.

Veronica Guay, Assistant Dean of Business, Science, Technology and Mathematics, and Perkins Counselor Shaunti Phillips, Career Vocational/Technical Education, will receive funding to create a new dual enrollment program for Gardner High School seniors interested in graphic and interactive design. Guay and Phillips will partner with Professor Leslie Cullen, chair of the Graphic & Interactive Design department; Natasha Robinson, Recruitment Counselor for the Admissions office; and members of the Gardner High School system.

Interim Director of Admissions Ai Co Abercrombie was awarded a grant to develop a peer-to-peer recruitment program, specifically targeting first-time students from traditionally underrepresented population groups: low-income and minority students and students with disabilities. The Admissions office plans to employ two student recruiters, one of traditional college age and one of non-traditional college age, who will accompany admissions representatives to college fairs, events and community activities and perform additional recruitment tasks.

Director of Student Success Debra Boucher received funding for a new program supporting non-traditional students as they transition to college life. The first portion of this program, a summer bridge session for non-traditional students and students returning to school following a five-year absence, took place in August. Incoming students learned about available resources at the college, while also participating in team-building activities. The program will continue this fall, as students attend two meetings to evaluate their college experiences and participate in leadership-building activities. Boucher is partnering with Student Services, the Visions program, the Advising Center and the Admissions office.

Lauren Mountain, Associate Director of the United Way Youth Venture in the college’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, received funding to further develop immersive learning opportunities for MWCC students. Along with her colleagues in the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, Mountain will use funding to support student ventures that create tangible changes in the community and at the college, similar to the Youth Venture program that has long served middle and high school students. This initiative is designed to promote retention and involvement at MWCC, enhance the educational experience for students, and provide them with community contacts and job skills.

Professor Sheila Murphy will partner with the Admissions office to further promote the benefits of the Honors Program and increase awareness among incoming students. By continuing to shape and market this honors culture, Murphy hopes to attract prospective students to MWCC and motivate them to participate in the many challenging degree programs. Further program goals include emerging as a top destination for students who excel in high school. To increase first-year student enrollment and eligibility for the Honors Program, Murphy will also partner with the Marketing and Communications department and the Dual Enrollment program.

Associate Professor John Little, chair of the Media Arts and Technology department, will receive funds to enlist students to record and produce concert DVDs. The project will build upon previous concert recording initiatives and will serve to promote the academic program, as well as provide service learning and entrepreneurship opportunities for students. Little will collaborate Theatre at the Mount as well as the Graphic and Interactive Design, Media Services, and Marketing and Communications departments.

 

 

VFW scholarship donation to MWCC Foundation

Members of Ovila Case Post 905 Veterans of Foreign Wars recently presented a $1,000 donation to the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation to support scholarships for student veterans. Pictured, from left, Commander Howard Sands, President Daniel M. Asquino, Service Commander Kenneth Fournier, board member and past commander Don Progen, and MWCC Foundation Executive Director Carla DeFosse.

The Ovila Case Post 905 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Gardner recently donated $1,000 to Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation’s Veterans Memorial Scholarship.

President Daniel M. Asquino and Foundation Executive Director Carla DeFosse accepted the generous donation from VFW Commander Howard Sands, Service Commander Kenneth Fournier and board member and past commander Don Progen, and thanked the post members for their continued support of MWCC and student veterans.

The scholarship was established to recognize the important role played by MWCC in ensuring that the sacrifices and service of veterans who served the country will not be forgotten.

Scholarship funds are awarded to new or returning full-time students who were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or are currently serving in the Reserves or National Guard.

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.

Pictured from left, Carla DeFosse, Executive Director of the MWCC Foundation, President, Daniel Asquino, Jim Jolicoeur, Superintendent of Schools and President of the Leominster Education Foundation, and Charles Gelinas, Chairman of the Leominster Education Foundation.

Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation recently presented $3,500 to the Leominster Education Foundation to continue the college’s strong support of the Leominster Public School’s S.T.E.M. Integration Program K-12 and Innovative Mini Grants for Teachers. MWCC’s support will help prepare and inspire students to meet the challenges of the global society through innovation, collaboration and creative problem solving.

The Leominster Education Foundation expanded its vision to include student scholarships, support for innovative schools, community-wide literacy, STEM education and to develop two capital campaigns; an early childhood center and new athletic fields behind the high school.

Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation Executive Director Carla DeFosse; President Daniel M. Asquino; 2013 Harold E. Drake, Jr. Citizen of the Year Award recipient Patrick L. Muldoon; Jay Davis Drake, former chair of the MWCC Board of Trustees; and Richard Mohnk, chair of the MWCC Foundation Board of Directors

Patrick L. Muldoon, president and CEO of HealthAlliance Hospitals and Central New England Health Alliance, was recognized as the 2013 Harold E. Drake Jr. Citizen of the Year by Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, Inc. The Princeton resident was honored during the foundation’s annual dinner on May 2 at the Colonial Hotel in Gardner.

Muldoon contributes his time, energy and expertise serving the North Central Massachusetts community. His leadership, particularly in the areas of health care and development, benefits the residents of the region in numerous ways, President Daniel Asquino said.

“Today our college, our communities are stronger because we sail together, we move forward, we do not quit and we tact where we must in order to get to our destination,” the president said noting the honoree’s interest in sailing. “Today all of our lives have been improved because our honoree exhibits the fine characteristics of good citizenship, of sacrifice way beyond self-interest and of volunteerism.”

Jay Davis Drake, past chair of the MWCC Board of Trustees, presented the award in memory of his father, Harold Drake, treasurer and former president of Royal Steam Heater Co. and Lynde Hardware & Supply, Inc. The award recognizes community members who exemplify Mr. Drake’s extraordinary commitment to the North Central Massachusetts region.

Muldoon accepted the award on behalf of the HealthAlliance team. Collaborating with physicians, employees and the community, Muldoon initially led a financial turnaround at HealthAlliance Hospital in 2005. Since that time, the team has led the hospital to rank as one of the top 10 performing hospitals in Massachusetts. In 2012 and 2013, HealthAlliance Hospital was ranked #1 in Massachusetts for patient safety by Consumer Reports.

Among his community activities, Muldoon serves on the Board of Trustees for Workers’ Credit Union and the Spanish American Center, currently as treasurer, the advisory board of the Regional Economic Development Institute at Fitchburg State University and the SHINE Initiative. He previously served for many years on the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, including as past campaign chair.

Muldoon also serves on the Board of Trustees of Massachusetts Hospital Association and was elected in 2012 to serve as chair elect of the board after serving as the chair of its Standing Committee on Finance. He has also served in several leadership positions with the American Hospital Association and The Joint Commission. He and his wife Eileen, a professional photographer and educator, have two adult children, Lindsey and Shannon.

During the event, the foundation also recognized Senior Vice President Sharyn Rice, who is retiring this month after 30 years at MWCC.

Student speaker Lawrence Nfor

Lawrence Nfor, a business administration major with a concentration in accounting, was the student speaker. He shared the story of how he and his wife, Elizabeth, made the difficult decision to leave their home in Cameroon, West Africa, to move to the U.S. to seek a better life for themselves and their four young children.He thanked the foundation and the many college supporters attending the event for their commitment to MWCC and its students, calling them a “community of people who value education.”Elizabeth recently completed prerequisites and will enter the college’s dental hygiene program this fall. Lawrence will complete his associate degree in December and plans to continue on for a bachelor’s degree in business in MWCC’s 3+1 program with Nichols College.

“If you have never seen some of the fruit of your financial support to this college, here is an example. You can feel free to follow us and see what we become and how the future will be shaped in the lives of our children. Your donations make all the difference in the values passed down through the staff of the Mount and into the lives of the students and their families.”

Patrick L. Muldoon

Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation will honor Patrick L. Muldoon, president and CEO of HealthAlliance Hospitals and Central New England Health Alliance, as the 2013 Harold E. Drake Jr. Citizen of the Year for his leadership and service in the community. He will be recognized during the foundation’s annual dinner on May 2 at the Colonial Hotel in Gardner.

The Citizen of the Year Award is presented in memory of Harold E. Drake, Jr., treasurer and former president of Royal Steam Heater Co. and Lynde Hardware & Supply, Inc. The award recognizes community members who exemplify Harold Drake’s extraordinary commitment to the North Central Massachusetts region.

“Patrick Muldoon contributes a tremendous amount of his time, energy and expertise serving the North Central Massachusetts community. His leadership, particularly in the areas of health care and development, benefits the residents of our region in numerous ways. We are proud to recognize him as our 2013 Citizen of the Year,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

“It really is an honor that I accept on behalf of the HealthAlliance team,” Muldoon said. “It takes a team and we have a great team here.”

Collaborating with physicians, employees and the community, Muldoon initially led a financial turnaround at HealthAlliance Hospital in 2005. Since that time, the hospital team has led the hospital to rank as one of the top 10 performing hospitals in Massachusetts. The hospital community has heavily invested in primary care physicians, outstanding quality performance outcomes and patient safety through advanced information technology.  HealthAlliance Hospital received Health Care’s Most Wired Award four years in a row and was selected as one of the most wireless hospitals in the country. In 2012 and 2013, HealthAlliance Hospital was ranked #1 in Massachusetts for patient safety by Consumer Reports, and has consecutively been ranked the fourth leading hospital in the state for surviving a heart attack. Health Alliance was one of the first hospitals in the country to commit to electronic medical records.

Raised in New Bedford and now a resident of Princeton, Muldoon became involved with community service as a student government leader and athlete in high school, and continued with similar endeavors in college and throughout his career.

Among his community activities, Muldoon serves on the Board of Trustees for Workers’ Credit Union and the Spanish American Center, currently as treasurer, the advisory board of the Regional Economic Development Institute at Fitchburg State University and the SHINE Initiative. He previously served for many years on the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, including as past campaign chair.

“Most often, I am applying my leadership skills to the organizations I have the privilege of serving. From serving on these boards, I feel I am the one learning from others and learning from these experiences. We’re all trying to do the right thing for the people who live in North Central Massachusetts.”

Muldoon also serves on the Board of Trustees of Massachusetts Hospital Association and was elected in 2012 to serve as chair elect of the board after serving as the chair of its Standing Committee on Finance. He has also served in several leadership positions with the American Hospital Association and The Joint Commission.

Muldoon earned his bachelor’s degree in health services administration from Providence College and a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University of Chicago. He is currently a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives.

He and his wife Eileen, a professional photographer and educator, have two adult children, Lindsey and Shannon.

Tickets to the annual foundation dinner are $75 per person. A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting Carla DeFosse at 978-630-9276 or cdefosse1@mwcc.mass.edu.

Carla DeFosse has been appointed executive director of the MWCC Foundation.

Carla DeFosse of Princeton has been appointed executive director of Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, Inc., bringing experience in nonprofit management and development, public service, fundraising, strategic planning and renewable energy.

A lifelong resident of North Central Massachusetts, DeFosse was unanimously appointed by the foundation’s board of directors and joined the college community on January 14. She replaces former director Darlene Morrilly, who retired after 10 years of service to the foundation.

“We are delighted to have Ms. DeFosse join Mount Wachusett in this key, community-focused position. She brings a breadth of experience and commitment to education, the community college mission, and to the residents, businesses and organizations in our region,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

DeFosse said she is excited to continue the work of the foundation during a pivotal time in the college’s history as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, is in the design phase of a $38 million science and technology building, and continues to implement new programs to support local, state and national initiatives geared toward enhancing student success and economic development.

She views the college as a place where students come to “empower themselves and improve their lives through education.” DeFosse plans to continue the foundation’s focus on community partnerships, support for students through scholarship funds, support programs and access and transition programs.

“Through my work in the community, I have witnessed the incredible, positive impact that Mount Wachusett Community College has had on our region. Community colleges are critical to the economic viability of the areas they serve. As the cost of four-year colleges and universities become prohibitive for many students, community colleges are a great place to begin academic studies before transferring, or to start and finish programs that train for direct employment in the workforce,” she said.

The MWCC Foundation has grown exponentially since it was established more than 40 years ago. In 1971, the foundation awarded $259 in scholarship funds to MWCC. Today, the foundation awards more than $260,000 annually in scholarship funds, as well as additional support for college and community initiatives.

Since April 2011, DeFosse served as chief advancement and external affairs officer and director of the Housing Consumer Education Center for RCAP solutions, a nonprofit organization specializing in low income housing development, rural environmental engineering and other social and homelessness programs in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands.

Previously, she served as aide to Massachusetts State Senator Harriette Chandler from 2009 to 2011, serving as a special advisor for constituent service and local renewable energy projects. From 2002 to 2011, she was the managing director of Mount Ridge Realty Development, a management and development company with residential and commercial holdings. She also worked as a business consultant and educator for the Center for Women and Enterprise in Worcester, and owned and operated the Mountain Barn restaurant for 12 years in Princeton.

DeFosse double majored at UMass Amherst, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in management and entertainment development. She earned a graduate certificate in Women in Politics and Public Policy from the UMass Boston McCormack School of Public Policy, and furthered her education in the area of renewable energy through a series of courses at MWCC. She lives in Princeton with her husband and daughter.

MWCC Golf Tournament 2012 Hole in One winner Joe Crowley

Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation’s 17th annual golf tournament raised a record $55,000 for student scholarship funds.

One lucky participant, Joe Crowley of Groton, scored a new Cadillac for making a hole in one from a distance of 185 yards. Joel Baker of Baker Cadillac of Leominster, one of the tournament’s sponsors, had offered the prize for the past three years for a golfer who achieved the feat. This is the first year a participant won a car.

 The tournament, held July 23 at the Sterling National Country Club, drew 120 golfers from throughout the region. The team winning the first place scramble was Gene Morrill, Jim Diamond, Bill Lavis and Donald Scarbrough of SimplexGrinnell. The team winning the first place scramble gross was Ron Dade, Chris Williams, Steve Stanitis and Paul Gallo.The team winning best ball first place was Jack Doolin, Jack Ford, Doug Peterson, Rich Rogers from Workers Credit Union.

 Over the past 17 years, the annual tournament has raised $660,000 for student scholarships. MWCC Foundation allocates more than $260,000 each year in scholarship funds. In addition to Baker Cadillac, sponsors include Beauregard Liquors, Bemis Associates, Ron Ansin and family, Laddawn, Inc., SimplexGrinnell, and Rollstone Bank & Trust.

The support from golfers and sponsors “allows us to provide our students with what they deserve – which is the very best,” MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino said. “We are most grateful to all of our sponsors for their support.”

“I can’t be more thrilled with the outcome this year,” said Foundation Executive Director Darlene Morrilly. “The weather was perfect, the field played in five hours, revenues were the highest ever, and the auction was the largest to date. To have someone get a hole-in-one to win the car is truly a highlight of the tournament. Everyone wins – our students, the college, and the community.”

Pictured: Groton resident Joe Crowley won a new Cadillac, courtesy of Baker Cadillac of Leominster, for his hole-in-one during Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation’s 17th annual golf tournament at the Sterling National Country Club.