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Mount Wachusett Community College Celebrates Dental Hygiene Graduates in Pinning Ceremony

MWCC Dental Pinning Class of 2023
Left to right. Front Emily Jacob, Sarah Direda, Amber Kear, Rosa Collazo, Jillian Achbady, Kate Bessette, Svetlana Prive. Back: Ann Vaillancourt, Marlene Boucher-Ripley, Lais Dias, Eliana Mello, Chris Starbard, Shelby Ponusky, Alejandra McPherson.

Mount Wachusett Community College held a pinning ceremony for the fourteen members of the Dental Hygiene Class of 2023 on May 12, 2023. The pinning ceremony represents the passage from student to registered dental hygienist.

“Congratulations to each and every one of you, it takes enormous work to get to this point in such a rigorous program,” MWCC President James Vander Hooven told graduates. “You have chosen a caring profession and you are going to be working with people who are in great need of your care, your help, and your empathy, and for that we all thank you.”

Guest speaker was Matthew Mara, DDM, who currently serves as an Assistant Professor of General Dentistry in the Office of Global and Population Health at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. He is deeply committed to education, having served two years as a Teach for America Corps Member before earning his Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University’s Wheelock School of Education in Health Professions. He works in private practice in Worcester and Boston’s South End. He believes strongly in community college, his mother served as faculty and Director of Early Childhood Education at Quinsigamond Community College.

“It is an exciting time for the dental profession,” Mara noted. “As students of the pandemic the lessons that you have learned will allow you to think more critically as you enter the clinic and profession knowing of potential risks and exposure. You made the decision to join this profession during a global pandemic, and for that I applaud you.”

The Dental Hygiene Class of 2023 graduates are:
Jillian Achbady, Watertown
Kathryn Bessette, Erving
Marlene Boucher-Ripley, Rutland
Rosa M. Collazo, Westminster
Lais Dias, Acton
Sarah Direda, Shrewsbury
Emily Jacob, Leominster
Amber Kear, Rindge, NH
Eliana Mello, Princeton
Alejandra McPherson, Ayer
Shelby Ponusky, Amherst
Svetlana Prive, Dracut
Christopher Starbard, Gardner
Ann Vaillancourt, Winchendon