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MWCC Joins DHE for Go Public! Event

Biotechnology students David Boivin and Michelle Despres and Assistant Dean Donna LaMura demonstrated how to extract DNA from strawberries during the Department of Higher Education’s Go Public! event in Worcester.

Student Trustee Jillian Johnson and biotechnology students David Boivin and Michelle Despres helped showcase Mount Wachusett Community College at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Go Public! event on Nov. 12 at North High School in Worcester.

GO PUBLIC! gives Massachusetts high school students a chance to discover the programs and opportunities available at the state’s 29 public college and university campuses. Approximately 400 seniors from North, South, Doherty and Burncoat high schools attended the Worcester event.

Johnson, a dual enrolled student in the Pathways Early College Innovation School who started college early to get a jump start on her goal of becoming an orthodontist, shared stories about college life, academics and leadership and civic engagement opportunities available at MWCC.

“My favorite thing about the Mount is the environment. It’s very supportive and everyone’s behind you. They want to see you succeed,” she said.

In addition to Johnson, students representing UMass Medical School, UMass Lowell, Fitchburg State University and Worcester State University also spoke about their college experiences. Following the presentation, the high school students attended an admissions fair and STEM-related demonstrations.

The DHE collaborated with GEAR UP, the federally funded college access program, to organize several events across the state this fall. GEAR UP Executive Director Robert Dias served as program emcee.

This year’s events focused on STEM majors, certificate programs and internship opportunities. Boivin and Despres joined Donna LaMura, Assistant Dean of the School of Business, Science, Technology and Mathematics, to guide students in a quick experiment on extracting DNA from strawberries. AiCo Abercrombie, Assistant Director of Strategic Enrollment Management, fielded questions and distributed information about MWCC’s academic programs.