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MWCC Holds Annual Evening of Excellence Award Ceremony

Mount Wachusett Community College recognized the achievements of its high performing students at its annual Evening of Excellence award ceremony on May 11, 2023.

Watch the Recording here: Evening of Excellence Recording on YouTube

Download the Program here: Evening of Excellence 2023 Program

“MWCC is a special place because of the people assembled here this evening, the faculty, staff, family and most importantly our wonderful, talented and passionate students,” Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Jason Zelesky said. “Tonight, we are recognizing the incredible passion and possibility that resides with this tremendous community. The accomplishments of the students in this room are extraordinary.”

“We are here to celebrate the achievements that you have made both inside and outside of the classroom,” President James Vander Hooven told students. “You have distinguished yourselves not only as students, but as survivors, overcoming the challenges of daily life and the complexities of the pandemic while delivering exemplary academic and extracurricular performance. I commend and congratulate each of you and thank you for making MWCC the community of learners it is.”

“It is my honor to introduce all of the recipients of the Mount Wachusett Community College Curriculum Awards,” stated Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs John Eisler. The connection that you’ve had with your faculty represents the centerpiece of the academic experience. In these contexts, faculty often speak of being co-learners with you on this journey. It is this dynamic learning environment that gives rise to the very best academic experiences that colleges can offer and lies at the heart of the MWCC Curriculum Awards. Each academic department selects one Curriculum Award recipient in recognition of their academic excellence in the major or concentration and their embodiment of what it means to be a scholar.”

Curriculum Awards
Accounting Concentration, Joyce Rodriguez, Winchendon
Art, Kara Lee O’Neil, Shirley
Automotive Technology, Erik J. Mierzejewski, Gardner
Biology, Trever M. Franzek, Groton
Business Administration Career, Janelle Elaina Racine, Gardner
Business Administration Transfer, Eliza Martenah Graham, Holden and Sadie H. Sargent, Bolton
Computer Information Systems, Jonathan H. Benson, Gardner
Computer Information Systems Transfer, Trentin Thomas Hursey, Gardner
Computer Science Transfer, Jason Tralongo, Westminster
Criminal Justice Transfer, Cole Carignan, Hubbardston
Dental Hygiene, Amber Ciarcia Kear, Rindge, NH
Early Childhood Education Career, Jessica Ann Masser, Spencer
Early Childhood Education Transfer, Rebecca Lee Degon, Phillipston
Early Education and Care for Exceptional Children, Nicole Marie Reed, Lancaster
Earth/Environmental Science, John Benjamin Stanway, Rindge, NH
Elementary Education Track, Abigail Leigh Floyd, Phillipston
Engineering and Physics, Ashley Morgan Cauvel, Ashby
Fire Science Technology, Seamus Lynch, Sommerville
Graphic and Interactive Design, Patrick J. Newton, Leominster
History and Political Science, Max C. Zbikowski, Ashburnham
Human Services, Danielle C. McDonald-Bourbeau, Phillipston and Susan Marie Wilson, Gardner
Interdisciplinary Studies, Allied Health, April Rose Pellegrino, West Brookfield
Interdisciplinary Studies, Maya Juliet Beland, Leominster
Legal Studies, Tabitha A. Potvin, Gardner
Liberal Arts & Sciences, Juliana Carys Wentworth, Fitchburg
Media Arts and Technology – Audio Engineering, Dylan Joseph Massucco, Worcester
Media Arts and Technology – Video/Film Concentration, Eileen Maksym, Belmont
Medical Assisting, Rachel Erin Courtemanche, Gardner
Natural Resources, April D. Mullins, Shrewsbury
Nursing, Tasmine Serwah-Konadu Agyepong, Leominster
Nursing LPN to Bridge, Jennifer Lee Navarijo, Phillipston
Pharmacy, Emelia G. Haley, Westminster
Physical Therapist Assistant, Sarah Ashley Morse, Gardner
Pre-Law Track, Sarah Smith, Rindge, NH
Theater Arts Track, Samuel J. Gagnon, New Braintree
Veterinary Technology, Stephanie N. Powers, Lowell

“Each of these scholarships was created to honor someone who was a huge supporter of our students and our college,” MWCC Foundation Director Carla Zottoli noted. “Some were students, some were faculty, and some were community members that recognized how Mount Wachusett Community College could change people’s lives for the better and positively impacting our region, all of them understood the importance of education and that sometimes just a little financial help will allow people to achieve their dreams. All of you sitting here tonight prove that to be true.”

MWCC Foundation Memorial Awards
Aspasia Anastos Award, Gary T. Brayboy, Fitchburg
Craig Hamel Scholarship, Symantha Marie Vallee, Ashburnham
Harold E. Drake, Jr. Veteran’s Scholarship Fund, Luke Barney, Millis
H. Marilyn Kiosses Scholarship, Christopher Michael Knickle, Athol
James D. Murphy Scholarship, Cody Nathanson, Athol
Joseph S. Baldyga Veteran’s Fund, Daniel D. Mullane, Ashland
Joseph B. Rush, Jr. Scholarship, Matthew D. Pierce, Clinton
Judge M. Alan Moore Award for Academic Excellence, Sarah Rocio Bravo, Leominster
Judge M. Alan Moore Award for Excellence in Writing, Maddison Paige Willigar, Gilbertville
Melissa Herr Marsh Scholarship, Rebekah G. Pineda, Fitchburg
MWCC Veteran’s Memorial Scholarship, Felicia Alicea, Rindge, NH
Peter J. Trainor Leadership Award, Nikki Ramos, Fitchburg
Polish American Veteran’s Scholarship, Eli Pfennighaus, Athol
Roberts Scholar, Sophia Whitman, Orange
The Babineau-Johnson Veteran’s Scholarship Fund, Rebekah G. Pineda, Fitchburg

Outstanding Achievement Awards
Best of First Year English – Analytical Writing Category:
1st Place Emily Khoury, Clinton
Runner-up Nikki Ramos, Fitchburg
Best of First Year English – Personal Writing Category
1st Place Mayra Alaniz Andrade. Lunenburg
Runner-up Sara Lambert, Dennis Port
Carl Tammi Award, Devin William Bowler, Westminster
Carrie Progen Memorial Scholarship, Molly C. Donovan, Leominster
Ellen E. Daly Dental Hygiene Scholarship, Alyssa Abbott-Kerylow, Vernon, VT
Excellence in Mathematics, Joshua M. Gifford, Shirley
Jean Tandy Award, Noah B. Uphold, Townsend
John Burton Award, Richard Chang, Leominster and Nichole M. Hazel, Hubbardston
Mount Observer Scholarship, Maddison Paige Willigar, Gilbertville
Robert Weibel Award, Edwina Polanco, Leominster
Sandy Signor Award, Phineas Lamarre, Greenville

Commonwealth Honors Scholars – Commonwealth Honors Scholars is a selective academic program.

Julia A. Benoit, Athol
Christine A. Boadu, Holden
Jennifer Marie Brandeberry, Phillipston
Sarah Rocio Bravo, Leominster
Chloe Catherine Caisse, Baldwinville
Shannon Caponigro, Barre
Candice Leanne Cooley-Johnson, Athol
Stephen J. Gaj, Phillipston
Joshua M. Gifford, Shirley
Dan Kidwell, Orange
Jeffrey D. Kidwell, Orange
Connor Lee Knechtel, Royalston
Eileen Maksym, Belmont
Dayanara Anai Ordonez, Fitchburg
Maia K. Soucy, Monson
Skylar Sweeney, Leominster
Azucena Amelie Thibault Munoz, Gardner
Lilian R. Thimotti, Lancaster
Alexander Scott Townsend, Stow
Janel M. Tralongo, Westminster
Grace T. Walsh, Lancaster

President’s Key – The President’s Key is traditionally awarded to the graduating student or students who have demonstrated exemplary academic performance in their programs of study and completed all of their degree requirements here at MWCC.

Tasmine Serwah-Konadu Agyepong, Leominster
Maya Juliet Beland, Leominster
Chloe Catherine Caisse, Baldwinville
Kara Lee O’Neil, Shirley
Maddison Paige Willigar, Gilbertville

Dean’s Key – A Dean’s Key is awarded each year to the graduating students who, in the opinion of the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs and Dean of Students, have made the most outstanding contribution to the life and spirit of the college through active participation in student activities and who have made significant contributions to the college community.

Chloe Catherine Caisse, Baldwinville

The Stephanie Barry Award

Posthumously – Stephanie Barry, Lowell