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


Mount Wachusett Community College’s School of Health Professions, Public service Programs and Social Sciences is hosting a site review for continuing accreditation of its associate degree nursing and practical nursing certificate program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

The public is invited to meet the site visit team and share comments about the programs during a meeting Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 3:30 p.m. in the North Café at the Gardner campus.

Jacqueline Leblanc and Graduate Antonio Campagna

It was a vision in white as dozens of excited graduates were welcomed into the nursing profession during Mount Wachusett Community College’s 40th annual pinning ceremony, held in the college’s Fitness & Wellness Center on May 17.

The 124 graduates who made up the Nursing Class of 2013 include students enrolled in the day and evening associate degree programs, as well as licensed practical nurses who returned to MWCC in the bridge program to further their education to obtain licensure as registered nurses.

In addition to completing a rigorous academic program, many students in the class managed homes and families, worked full-time or part-time jobs, participated in meaningful service learning projects and performed a variety of community service activities.

President Daniel M. Asquino and Eileen Costello, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Community Service Programs, delivered welcoming remarks to the graduates and to the hundreds of family members and friends who came to celebrate with their graduates. Graduates Antonio Campagna and Jessica Parsons sang the National Anthem at the ceremony and received a standing ovation from the audience.

“This is a significant milestone,” President Asquino told the graduates, and encouraged them to “rejoice” in their achievement and remain committed to continuing their professional development in the years ahead.

MWCC Nursing Professor Jean Silberzweig delivered the keynote address, noting that a Gallop poll ranked nurses first for honesty and ethics among a number of professions.

“People trust nurses. We are perfect strangers to our patients. We are allowed to share in their most difficult or maybe the happiest time in their lives. They depend on us to know and do what is right.”

Guest Speaker Jean Silberzweig

Some of the graduates opted to wear the original customized MWCC nurse uniforms while others wore the traditional nurse scrubs, 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, to the cheers of family and friends. The pin symbolizes where the nurses completed their studies to become an RN 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 a finale to the ceremony, the students recited the nurses’ pledge, which that dates back to Florence Nightingale.

For more photos, visit MWCC’s Facebook page.

MWCC President Daniel Asquino and Elms College President Mary Reap sign the new transfer agreements in a signing ceremony attended by administrators and faculty from the two colleges. From left, MWCC Executive Vice President Ann McDonald, MWCC Assistant Dean Margaret Jaillet, MWCC Psychology and Human Services Department Chair Janice Gearan; MWCC Dean Eileen Costello; Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Melissa Fama; Dr. Elizabeth Hukowicz, Associate Academic Dean, Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education at Elms; and Dr. Ruth Slotnick, MWCC Director of Articulation & Learning Assessment.

Mount Wachusett Community College and Elms College and have entered into an academic agreement that allows students to earn an Elms College bachelor’s degree on the MWCC campus in Gardner. Two programs will begin in August 2013—a bachelor of arts degree with a major in psychology and a bachelor of science degree with a major in nursing.MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, Ph.D., and Elms College President Mary Reap, IHM, Ph.D., recently signed a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. Applications are currently being accepted, and classes will begin in August.

Under the new agreement, Elms College will accept an additional 18 credits from MWCC at a community college tuition rate, for a total of up to 78 transfer credits.The psychology degree completion program offers a balance of courses that includes a basic core series followed by concentrations in experimental, clinical/counseling, and developmental psychology. During each of the 10 eight-week sessions, one face-to-face course will be held 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and another course will be offered either as a hybrid or face-to-face. MWCC students completing an associate degree in human services or liberal arts are eligible to transfer into this program.

The RN-BS degree completion program provides a high quality program for registered nurses, which builds upon the skills acquired in an entry level nursing program and prepares graduates who are liberally educated in the arts and sciences and professionally educated in nursing knowledge and evidence-based practice. Classes for this program are scheduled 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays over a two-year period. Some afternoon classes may be offered in the hybrid format.

MWCC and Elms College are actively committed to providing greater educational opportunities and services for students transferring from MWCC to Elms College. MWCC and Elms College mutually recognize each other as quality institutions of higher learning. Each institution is dedicated to serving students from all walks of life in accordance with each college’s affirmative action policy. A social work agreement is expected to start in fall 2014.

“These two programs at MWCC will create new opportunities for students to further their educations in psychology or nursing while keeping costs low and convenience at the forefront,” said Reap. “We are delighted to open up our classrooms to these hard-working, talented individuals so that they may make a difference in their central Massachusetts communities.”

“We are delighted with the new academic pathway that these transfer agreements with Elms College create for many of our graduates,” said Asquino. “By completing their associate degree before transferring, our graduates earn credentials beneficial in the workforce, while continuing on for their bachelor’s degree.”

To learn more about the Elms College off-campus program at MWCC, go to or contact Wanda Banks at or 413-313-4287, or Limari Rivera at or 978-630-9197.



MWCC Nursing Student Jessica Francis was presented with a car through the Recycled Rides program.

MWCC nursing student Jessica Francis won a Honda Civic on Oct. 9, courtesy of Al Brodeur’s Auto Body, The Hanover Insurance Group, O’Brien & Gibbons Insurance Agency, the United Way of Central Massachusetts and other Worcester-area partners.

The donated, refurbished 2008 car was granted through the Recycled Rides program. This nationwide project was created by the National Auto Body Counsel and will make a difference in the family’s life by providing a much needed source of reliable transportation. The United Way of Central Massachusetts worked with a partner agency to choose the recipient.

Through the Recycled Rides program, Hanover Insurance Group donated the vehicle, which is worth more than $10,000. The company also gave Ms.Francis a $160 gas card in honor of its 160th anniversary and a road-side assistance kit. In addition, the Worcester resident also received a year’s worth of insurance for the car.

Over the past year, Ms. Francis, a single mother of two boys, has been involved with P.O.W.E.R. (Personal Opportunities for Work, Education and Renewal), an education and workforce development program of the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (CMHA) and funded by United Way. The program helped her to successfully apply to Mount Wachusett Community College’s nursing program, which she began in September. The vehicle will provide her with transportation to and from the college.

The car was presented to Ms. Francis and her sons during an event organized in coordination with The Hanover’s United Way Campaign.