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Oct. 5, 2010

In This Issue
MWCC Awarded Federal Title III Grant to Enhance Student Success
MWCC's Wind Turbines Arrive
MWCC's Green Initiatives to be Featured in Documentary
MWCC Hosts Annual NEACAC College Fair
MWCC Showcases "A World of Possibilities" in Gardner's 225th Anniversary Parade
Student Life Hosts Annual Leadership Retreat
Fitness & Wellness Center Hosts Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Event
Upcoming Events
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MWCC Awarded Federal Title III Grant to Enhance Student Success 
MWCC AACC Completion Commitment signingMount Wachusett Community College has been awarded a five-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to enhance student success. The college will receive a $400,000 Strengthening Institutions Program (Title III) grant this academic year, for the first year of a five-year project called "The ASPIRE Strategy," An Academic Success Program to Increase Retention and Engagement.

MWCC is one of just 48 institutions nationally selected to receive a Title III grant this academic year. The college announced the grant on Oct. 5 to coincide with the first White House Summit on Community Colleges, led by Dr. Jill Biden. Concurrently, MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino signed the American Association of Community Colleges "Completion Commitment," which calls for increasing student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade and coincides with the White House education goal to lead the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020.
"This Title III grant is giving us the tools, the training and the technology to allow us to restructure our operations so we're better mobilized to enhance student services and retention," President Asquino said.
MWCC's ASPIRE program will include curriculum redesign and restructuring to more fully incorporate 21st century success skills, and enhancing advising and student services to increase retention and completion. The ASPIRE Strategy will enhance intake assessment, improve connections to faculty and peers through smaller group and virtual orientations, engage students in creating individual learning plans with advisor support, and eliminate the barriers encountered in highly enrolled first-year courses.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced new Title III funding for this fiscal year on Oct. 1. President Obama "has set a goal that America will once again lead the world in college completion by the end of this decade," Duncan said. "These grants will support institutions serving low-income students as they work to increase college completion rates to help our country meet the President's goal."
"Mount Wachusett Community College has always been committed to making sure quality education is available and affordable to students," said Congressman John Olver. "This grant will help MWCC continue its strong tradition of providing students of all socio-economic backgrounds with a quality college education."
"This is an investment in keeping Massachusetts our nation's leader in higher education," Senator John Kerry said.
Pictured: Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel M. Asquino signs the American Association of Community College's "Commitment Challenge" on Tuesday, Oct. 5 to coincide with the first White House Summit on Community Colleges and the U.S. Department of Education's announcement that MWCC has been awarded a five-year, $2 million grant to enhance student success. Attending the signing ceremony were Vice President of Academic Affairs Melissa Fama; Edwin Martinez, Student Government Association vice president and former Student Trustee; current Student Trustee Christina Lajoie; SGA President Scott Brown; and Dr. Vincent M. Bates, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Math, Education and Developmental Studies.

MWCC's Wind Turbines Arrive 

MWCC's turbines arriveThe massive components that will make up MWCC's two 1.65 MW wind turbines arrived over a nine-day span from Sept. 21 through Sept. 30, generating currents of excitement as elongated trucks maneuvered onto the Gardner campus to deliver the college's newest renewable energy solution.

"The wind turbines have already produced more than electrical energy," said Janice Barney, Dean of the School of Business, Science and Technology. "They have sparked interest and enthusiasm within the institution and the community. Everyone's excited to see this new venture."
"I have to think that this is how people responded to the first automobiles," remarked Computer Graphic Design instructor Sonya Shelton, who viewed the delivery with students, faculty and staff from the building's third floor. For a society that can sometimes seem unphased by anything new, this is an exception, she said. "We've seen it all, except apparently this."
Construction of the turbines will take place over the next few months, said MWCC Resident Engineer Ed Terceiro, executive vice president emeritus. The two Vestas V82 wind turbines are expected to produce 4,978 KWh hours of electricity annually, he said. As a result, the turbines will annually generate approximately 97% percent of the college's electricity consumption and will return approximately 30% of the power generated back into the grid. The project is expected to produce nearly $1 million in annual revenue and, after paying off debt service, the project is expected to net the college over $600,000 annually.

The wind energy projects at MWCC and at the North Central Correctional Institution, also in Gardner, are a joint collaboration of the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and the Department of Energy Resources to achieve the renewable energy goals of Gov. Deval Patrick's Leading by Example program, which calls for increasing the use of renewable power and energy efficiency at state facilities. 
MWCC's $9 million wind project is being funded through a variety of sources, including $3.2 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants secured by Congressman John Olver; $2.1 million from a low interest Clean Renewable Energy Bond (CREB) made available through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act; and $3.7 million from Massachusetts Clean Energy Investment Bonds.

MWCC's Green Initiatives to be Featured in Documentary

Filming documentary on sustainabilityMount Wachusett Community College's green initiatives will be featured in an upcoming documentary  created by Sustainable Step New England, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainability education.
A crew from Boston-based 42 Degrees North Films recently filmed segments with President Daniel M. Asquino and Resident Engineer Ed Terceiro, executive vice president emeritus, while touring the college's biomass, solar and wind energy sites.
"We want to tell the story of MWCC because it exemplifies an institution-side embrace of sustainable energy practices, from the wood chip biofuel heating system to the automatic light switches," said director Kate Raisz, an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose films have been on National Geographic, Discover, the History Channel, Animal Planet and numerous educational venues.
"They left MWCC with what I can only describe as a very positive experience," Terceiro said. "We will be the only college featured in the film, which will also include a hospital in Boston and a restaurant in Greenfield."
Pictured: Resident Engineer Ed Terceiro discusses MWCC's wind energy program for an upcoming documentary being created by Sustainable Step New England.

MWCC Hosts Annual NEACAC College Fair 

NEACAC College FairMore than 1,500 college-bound students from throughout central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire attended the annual New England Association of College Admission Counseling college fair on Sept. 21. The fair, again hosted by MWCC in the Fitness & Wellness Center, also welcomed representatives from 185 colleges and universities from across the country.
"This event gives students an opportunity to speak personally with staff from nearly 200 colleges, universities, technical schools and military branches from the U.S. and Canada," said Director of Admissions John Walsh.
"MWCC is proud to be selected as host of this important post-secondary education program. The New England Association for College Admissions Counseling is the number one resource in New England for college admissions professionals and the students have a great time," Walsh said. "The fair helps to actively reinforce their goals of college attendance by showcasing the myriad choices available to them."

MWCC Showcases "A World of Possibilities" in Gardner's 225th Anniversary Parade

Mount Wachusett Community College showcased "A World of Possibilities" during the city of Gardner's 225th Anniversary parade on Sept. 26. MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, along with several members of the Student Government Association, faculty, staff, alumni and current students participated in the parade.
Crowds of onlookers cheered on the college's festive float, which also carried the "Start Near...Go Far" theme as it progressed along the parade route to the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstances," the ceremonial commencement music. MWCC was one of several community sponsors of the parade.
Robin Duncan, chair of the college's float committee, thanked all who turned out to watch or participate in the event, and particularly those who volunteered their time to serve on the committee: President Asquino, Jeff Boisseau, Vin Ialenti, Stephanie Pinto, Lois Cox, Vincent Bates, Karen Kolimaga, Sharyn Rice, Greg Clement, Sandy Arsenault and Gardner Wood from the college, and community members Rocky Ruksnaitis, Dave Richard and Dave Duncan.

Student Life Hosts Annual Leadership Retreat 

MWCC Leadership Retreat 2010The office of Student Life hosted the annual Student Leadership Retreat on Oct. 1 at the Wachusett Village Inn. The retreat featured a variety of interactive challenges for team building and a workshop and reflection on diversity.
"The  top  goal of retreat is  to build unity among the groups and organizations on campus and introduce the new emerging student leaders," said Assistant Dean of Students Greg Clement
Dr. Vincent Bates, Dean of Liberal Arts, Math, Education and Developmental Studies, and Associate Professor Candace Shivers joined Student Life staff as presenters and facilitators.
"It is amazing to see students come out of their shells and friendships starting to form in such a short period of time," said Student Government Association President Scott Brown. "The activities and workshops build the relationships that students are looking for when they get involved on campus."

Fitness & Wellness Center Hosts Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Event 

MWCC's Fitness & Wellness Center sponsored the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce's September Business After Hours networking event on September 30.
More than 50 Chamber members and business leaders attended, which provided an opportunity to learn more about the array of programs offered at the Fitness & Wellness Center. Attendees took part in tours the newly renovated facility and fitness demonstrations.
To kick of the college's celebration of the Fitness & Wellness Center's 15th anniversary, a total of 15 three-month memberships were given away. Mary Heafy, President & CEO of Alliance for Resource Management, won the grand prize of a one-year membership.
Pictured: Jim Wood of Wood's Ambulance, David Graham of MWCC's Fitness & Wellness Center, Alan Leblanc of John's Sport Shop, and former Fitness Center employee Gunnar Robinson were among the area residents attending the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours event at center.

Upcoming Events

MWCC's annual Transfer Fair, sponsored by the Advising & Counseling Center, will take place Thursday, Oct. 7 from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the South Cafeteria. Representatives from more than 40 four-year colleges and universities will be available to discuss transfer opportunities with MWCC students.
The fall Student Life Film Festival continues on Tuesday, Oct. 12 with the movie "Fagbug," on in the North Café. The documentary tells the story of Erin Davies, who took her vandalized VW Beetle on a 58-day trip around the U.S. and Canada to raise awareness about hate crimes after being a victim herself.
Empty Place at the Table, a display that commemorates the lives lost in Massachusetts over the past year as a result of domestic violence, will return to MWCC on Oct. 12 through 15 in the Upper Commons Area. The display was created by Battered Women's Resources, Inc. of Leominster and consists of a formal dining room table set up with 2 plates for each victim, one with a name and the other with a brief description of the murder. Sponsored by the office of Student Life, this event is in recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Party Smart Mocktails and Fatal Vision Program will take place Tuesday, Oct. 26 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the South Cafeteria as part of MWCC's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness Week. Proceeds will benefit the Student Government Associations annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. The event is sponsored by the offices of Student Life and Health Services, the Public Safety Department and CATS.
Theatre at the Mount will present the children's musical, The Berenstain Bears on Stage on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. in the MWCC theatre. Join Papa, Mama, Brother, and Sister Bear as classic Berenstain Bears stories are presented and commented on by guitar-strumming Cowboy Joe, the world's foremost expert on the famous residents of Bear Country. All seats are $5. For tickets, contact the TAM box office at (978) 632-2403 or online at
Come join the fund at MWCC's annual Scary Karaoke, Thursday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the North Café. The event features $100 cash door prize every hour and cash prizes for best costumes. The event, sponsored by CATS and the office of Student Life, is free for all MWCC students, faculty and staff. 
MWCC is offering Information Sessions on a number of academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Accelerated Business Administration Transfer Degree: Oct. 19, 3 to 4 p.m., Gardner campus, Murphy Conference Room; Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing: Oct. 25, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Devens campus, room 214; Clinical Laboratory Science: Oct. 20, 3 to 4:30 p.m., HealthAlliance Hospital; Complementary Health Care/Physical Therapist Assistant: Oct. 12, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner campus room 204; Dental Hygiene: Oct. 13, 2 to 3 p.m., Burbank campus, Fitchburg; Energy Management: Oct. 21, 3 to 4 p.m., Devens campus; Nursing A.S. Degree: Nov. 9, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner campus, room 204; and Practical Nursing Certificate: Oct. 19, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner campus, room 204. In addition, small group information sessions are offered daily Monday through Thursday beginning at 3 p.m. Prospective students are asked to call the Enrollment Center at (978) 630-9284 (TTY (978) 632-4916), or send an email to Prospective students interested in the Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing program are asked to call Tami Morin at (978) 630-9578, (TTY (978) 632-4916), or email
Archived issues of Mount Wachusett Community College e-News can be found online at To submit to the MWCC e-News or request coverage for your event, contact the Public Relations Office at (978) 630-9547. 
Janice O'Connor
Director of Public Relations
Mount Wachusett Community College
(978) 630-9547