President’s Report 2018

Education. It’s secretly a loaded word because it means something different to nearly everyone. To some, it translates to employment, security, or simply a future. For others, it is shorthand for empowerment, change, and personal growth. In the last year, we have continued the college’s efforts to meet our students’ needs based on their definition of education. The college has expanded pathways to well-paying jobs within the region with a new Vet Tech program and a nursing agreement with Fitchburg State University. We also remain committed to student growth with life-changing trips abroad, community service and engagement opportunities, and a student center that has given a renewed vibrancy to our Gardner campus.

We do this because it is not the job of any of us to define education at Mount Wachusett Community College. It’s a shifting interpretation that is different for every student. Our job is to support all the definitions of education so that our students and the community are prepared for the future. We have a talented collection of faculty and staff who are empowered to meet the needs of our students. They do an amazing job of figuring out our student’s goals and how best to meet them.

But for them to do their work we need support. I encourage you to take the time to read our stories of student success from the last year. Understand that each one of those stories would not have happened without community and donor support. Everyone in the community plays a part in our students’ success, and when they succeed, our communities benefit. It is a wonderful cycle that you may already be a part of, but I hope that you will be able to get even more involved this year either financially or in partnership with the college. We have some amazing new programming and other student-centered changes in the year ahead. I look forward to not only seeing them come to fruition, but also working on discovering the emerging ways we can serve our students, and thus the community, through their definitions of education.

James Vander Hooven Signature




James L. Vander Hooven, Ed.D.


“Everyone in the community plays a part in our students’ success, and
when they succeed, our communities benefit.”

Photo of a mother in her graduation cap and gown standing next to her daughter

MWCC Celebrates Graduation of 16 Adult Education Students

Sixteen students graduated from the MWCC adult education program in June this year. The graduating students received their high school equivalency, allowing them to earn more in the workforce or continue on to get a college-level degree. “Getting their high school equivalency is life changing,” said MWCC Adult Education Site Manager Kijah Gordon. “All of my students want to complete a college degree. This was that one thing standing in their way.”

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Stanley Choruzek stands at graduation holding a sign that reads "I did this for: My family and my country! Semper FI"

MWCC Ranked 1st in New England for Veterans

The college was named by Military Times as 7th in the country among two-year schools, and first in New England among two-year schools, in the organization’s Military Times Best: Colleges 2018 rankings.

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Photo of Professor Bigelow giving slide presentation to Introduction to Criminal Justice class

MWCC to Save Students Money with New Open Resources Pilot Program

Eleven faculty redesigned their courses in the fall of 2018 as part of a pilot program to incorporate open resources and eliminate costly textbooks. This allowed their students to save over $50,000. The effort is continuing into the spring semester with 10 more faculty.

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Photo of two female students outdoors with calf

MWCC Launches New Vet Technician Program

The Veterinary Technician program will fill a growing need in the job market at a reduced cost when compared to other area programs.

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Photo of students sitting at a table in the Bemis Student Center playing a board game

Bemis Student Center Unveiled at Mount Wachusett Community College

The Student Center has created a new epicenter of student life and activity in the heart of the Gardner campus. The area features a lounge and meeting space, group study zone, game room, and televisions.

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A group of people poses on a stone pathway with soaring mountains in the background.

Travel and Transformation: A Memoir of Peru

Student Adrienne Bourque wrote about her service learning trip to Peru with a group of peers and instructors shortly after graduation. The experience opened her eyes to new cultures and is something she will always treasure.

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Four student artists crouch in front of a colorful mural they created

Students Paint Wall with Hope at Mount Wachusett Community College

Four Mount Wachusett Community College students went on to continue their studies at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute after graduating this year. These transfers are part of a budding relationship between the two schools that has been ushered in by WPI Alumnus and MWCC Assistant Professor Peter Olszak.

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Photo of Carla Zottoli
Carla Zottoli, Executive Director of the MWCC Foundation, writes about students’ unmet financial needs

 Scholarships Help Fill the Gap

Working with our population of students has taught me that “talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not,” as the saying goes. I meet skillful, hopeful, ambitious students all the time. And every semester, I read their personal stories. Their applications for scholarship frequently tell me they are hungry, have an unstable housing situation, and are balancing some heavy responsibilities at home and work while trying to earn a degree.

They are applying for MWCC Foundation scholarships to fill the gap between their income, financial aid and the cost of college. Nearly half of all our financial aid applicants have unmet needs even after they receive all available state and federal aid. That adds up to a total of $19,727,189 our students need to stay in school.

If you feel moved to help, I encourage you to make a donation to our students.





Pie chart of FY18 Revenues REVENUE
 Revenue Percentage FY18
 State Appropriations  – 37%  $19,826,719
 Capital Funding – 6%  $3,247,343
 Tuition & Fees – 20%  $10,796,677
 Grants – 30%  $15,680,626
 Other Income – 7%  $3,461,201


 Pie Chart of FY18 Expenses EXPENSES
 Expense Percentage FY18
 Instruction  – 27%  $14,382,177
 Scholarships – 6%  $3,002,306
 Student Services – 22%  $11,635,992
 Academic Support – 11%  $5,521,417
 Maintenance of Plant – 12%  $6,256,313
 Institutional Support – 12%  $6,408,881
 Public Service – 2%  $1,148,809
 Auxiliary Enterprise – 3%  $1,379,895
 Depreciation – 4%  $2,247,583
Other Expenditures – 1% $437,345




Board of Trustees

  • Robert Antonioni
  • Richard Cella
  • Amanda Curtis
  • Sheila M. Daly
  • Claire Freda
  • Jamy Gaynor
  • Denise Kindschi Gosselin
  • Tracy Hutchinson
  • Donata Martin
  • Kenneth Tomasetti
  • Dylan Doyle

MWCC Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors

  • Ray Martino
  • Walter Dwyer
  • Scot Barrett
  • Peter Armbruster
  • Keith Boissineau
  • Charles Bowles
  • Winfield Brown
  • Wayne Canty
  • Richard Cella
  • Jeanie Connolly
  • Robin Duncan
  • Arthur Feehan
  • Richard Flannagan
  • James Garrison
  • George Jones, III
  • Raymond LaFond
  • Eve Marie Nezich Ceryanek
  • Roy Nascimento
  • Douglas Petersen
  • Gail Steele
  • Michael Toomey
  • Regina Wironen
  • Carla Zottoli

Leadership Team

  • James L. Vander Hooven, Ed.D.
  • Robert LaBonte
    Vice President, Finance & Administration
  • Peter Sennett
    Vice President, Human Resources & Affirmative Action
  • Lea Ann Scales
    Vice President, External Affairs, Communications & K-12 Partnerships
  • Joseph Stiso
    Vice President, Development, Planning & Institutional Advancement
  • Rachel Frick Cardelle
    Vice President, Lifelong Learning & Workforce Development
  • Paul Hernandez
    Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs
  • Michelle Paranto
    Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Jason Zelesky
    Senior Dean of Student Affairs 
  • Elmer Eubanks-Archbold
    Associate Professor, Business 



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