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Mount Wachusett Community College Welcomes New Faculty and Launches New Math Degree

GARDNER—Mount Wachusett Community College will welcome new faculty members in its Medical Assisting, English, Math, Physics, Business and ESL programs this fall. Classes begin Wednesday, September 4.

Jeffery Thompson will join the math and physics faculty team. He has his Master of Science in Physics and his Master of Science in Astronomy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He most recently served as an instructor of mathematics and physics at Southern Vermont College in Bennington Vermont. He received the 2014 Walter Eppenstein Graduate Teaching Associate Award from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Nicholas Cochrane will join the MWCC Business Department. He received his Master’s in Business Administration with concentrations in Management and Marketing from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Cochrane is a first-generation community college graduate from Northern Essex Community College, with an Associate Degree in Business Administration. He has served in many business and leadership roles including: Director of Operations, General Manager, and Human Resources Supervisor and worked with Fortune 500 companies, family-owned businesses, union environments, and as an entrepreneur.

Dr. Jessica Kuskey and Zach Buscher will be joining the MWCC English Department. Kuskey has her PhD in English from Syracuse University and has taught for over 15 years at colleges and universities in California, Connecticut, Ohio, New York and Vermont. Buscher holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona where he was a Beverly Rogers Fellow and Poetry Editor for The Sonora Review. His own poems have appeared in the Best New Poets anthology and a number of online journals. He taught and tutored writing at Quinsigamond Community College and Pine Manor College.

Dr. Venusa Toomey will serve as the new chair for the Medical Assisting Program. She has her Doctor of Medicine from Saint Louis University and her Master in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University. She also has a certificate in Leadership from the Harvard Business School. She most recently served as instructor in the medical assisting apprenticeship program at Manchester Community College.

Otoniel “Otto” Bolanos will join the MWCC ESL team. He taught English for Academic Purposes at Valle University in Colombia. Bolanos continued teaching ESL for over a decade in Colombia where he also had the opportunity to work as a teacher/trainer, staff developer, curriculum implementer, program administrator, and workshop presenter. In 2002, he joined the team of ESL instructors at Hudson County Community College.

The College will offer an Associate’s Degree in Mathematics for the first time beginning this fall, combining a focus on math with a transfer path through MassTransfer. The Mathematics degree has been designed to prepare students to transfer to a four-year college or university. The degree includes essential courses such as Calculus I, Statistics, Ordinary Differential Equations, Physics, and even explores computer programming with Java. Through this Associate’s Degree at MWCC, students will be able to take the core courses universities recommend for the first two years of a math major under the terms of MassTransfer.

This new degree option prepares students for a wide-array of future careers after completing a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. These careers include actuarial analyst, business executive, cryptographer, data analyst, doctor, educator, engineer, finance/investment analyst, mathematician, operations research analyst, scientist, statistician, or as a salesperson for a high tech product or service. Many careers requiring a degree in mathematics are expected to grow by 33 percent by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.