Group of happy graduates at commencement

Meet Denise Gosselin

Class of 1976

Denise Gosselin

Criminal Justice
Denise Gosselin

Going to the Mount was a tradition in my family. The year I graduated, my father graduated with his degree in nursing. MWCC made so much possible for me.

MWCC Alumna of the Year 2011

Gosselin, a native of Lunenburg, is an associate professor of criminal justice at Western New England College and is the author of Heavy Hands: An Introduction to the Crimes of Family Violence, a leading textbook in the field of domestic violence, and of Smart Talk: Contemporary Interviewing and Interrogation.

She earned an associate degree in law enforcement in 1976, then went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from Westfield State University and a  doctorate in criminal justice at Capella University, while raising a family.

Along the way, she has broken barriers for women in the field by becoming the first uniformed officer for Lunenburg and the first female campus police officer at MWCC. In 1978, the Massachusetts Senate honored her as the first woman appointed constable for the city of Fitchburg. Gosselin retired as a trooper from the Massachusetts State Police in 2002. She served as a uniformed officer, as a drill instructor at the department’s academy, and as a major crime detective.

“The education that I received at Mount Wachusett Community College launched a career in policing and my future in academia,” she said. “Going to the Mount was a tradition in my family. The year that I graduated, my father graduated with his degree in nursing. For my father, it was a second career after service in the military. For me, it provided the beginning of a criminal justice career that made me yearn for more education. Mount Wachusett Community College made so much possible for me. It is an honor to be recognized as Alumni of the Year.”