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Mount Wachusett Community College Holds Annual Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Celebration

George LoCasio, Heather Conn, Alaina McDowell, Breanna Whittier, Miranda Monahan, Eliza Graham, Azucena Thibeault-Munoz, Elias Rodriguez, Timothy McHugh, and Julie Anderson

The Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement recognized students for over 70,000 volunteer hours in the 2022-2023 school year. Volunteers included 12 students who contributed over 20 hours, 32 who donated over 40 hours, 3 who donated over 75 hours, and 24 students who contributed over 100 hours of their time.

MWCC President James Vander Hooven presented the President’s Service and Volunteerism Awards, which are given annually to students who provide 100 or more hours of volunteer service.

“When we do what we can to serve others, we benefit everyone,” Vander Hooven said. “We can come together to meet each other’s needs – and we know that our students and community have tremendous needs. It is a great honor to come together to honor you all for your service.”

Students receiving the President’s Service and Volunteerism Award were:

Haylee Armstrong, Ayer
Tina Brigitini, Brimfield
Chloe Caisse, Baldwinville
Jennifer Davie, North Brookfield
Molly Donovan, Leominster
Anya Ezechukwu, Shirley
Emily Grasser, Westminster
Christina Jeffers, Templeton
Ava LeBlanc, Athol
Jennifer Lowe, Leominster
Rachel Lucia, Gilbertville
Sophia Mahone, Fitchburg
Lauryn Mattson, Templeton
Danielle McDonald-Bourbeau, Phillipston
Michael Mosher, Templeton
Sandy Oser, Ashby
Rafael Peguero, Leominster
Amanda Robichaud, Gardner
Lori Rojcewicz, South Barre
Natalie Solivan, Fitchburg
Molly Sullivan, Oxford
Kikelomo Tetteh, Winchendon
Kaylee Vitols, Athol
Susan Wilson, Gardner

The Newman Civic Fellowship, which recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change was presented to nursing student Hanna Shailer. The Green Society was named Club of the Year for their work in engaging the campus in greenhouse activities and raising produce for the campus café and the food pantry.

Maureen Provost presented the Hillary Bartlett Newsome Service-Learning Scholarship, awarded annually in memory of Hillary Bartlett, a dedicated community volunteer and MWCC alumni, to Abigail Floyd of Phillipston, MA. Bartlett was a 2009 graduate of the Mount’s Early Childhood Transfer program who passed away unexpectedly in 2017.

Shelly Nicholson, Brewer Center Director, presented the Faculty Civic Engagement Award to retiring faculty Sue Taylor and a special recognition to Dean Margaret Jaillet for her years of dedicated service to the college and the community.

The Service-Learning Scholarship was presented to Anya Ezechukwu of Shirley, MA by her Graphic and Interactive Design Professor, Leslie Cullen in recognition of her volunteer work for the city of Gardner’s Centennial Celebration and the design of the Mount Observer magazine commemorating Fitchburg’s Abolitionist Park.

Michel Cocuzza, Coordinator of Civic Engagement, presented The Community Partner of the Year award to the DAV Department of Mass Service Fund Inc. as well as a presentation of gratitude to Paul Valila and Bob Thomas, members of the MWCC Maintenance Team for their support.

The Sharyn Rice Award for Community Leadership Award is presented each year to a student who has a strong passion for community involvement, and was presented by Fagan Forhan, Dean of K-12 Partnerships and Civic Engagement to student Nikki Ramos, for her service to the MWCC community through volunteerism and academics while struggling with a visual disability.

The SLiCE, Student Leader in Civic Engagement, recognition was presented by Michel Cocuzza to Breanna Whittier for her dedication to the Brewer Center and the work she has done through the year in support of students, veterans and the greater community.

Food Pantry Volunteers, Interns, and Student Leaders in Civic Engagement Kelly Culkeen, Hanna Shailer, Gio Toledo, Miranda Monahan, Kikelomo Tetteh, Natalie Solivan, Mina Girouard, and Rachel Lucia were honored by Sue Meagher, Program Aide for the Brewer Center, for the time they spent staffing the Food for Thought campus pantry and working with students in need.