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Nov. 24, 2010

In This Issue
Turbine Construction Underway
Area High School Students Attend Biotechnology Expo at Devens Campus
Guest Speakers Share Perspectives on High Profile Crime Cases
Theatre at the Mount Announces 2011 Season
Upcoming Events
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Turbine Construction Underway 

MWCC north turbine nacelleThe greatest engineering feat on campus since the biomass conversion nearly a decade ago is now underway, as crews assemble the first of two Vestas 1.65 MW wind turbines.

The base component of the north turbine was hoisted into the air and set in place by a mammoth crane on Saturday, Nov. 20, marking yet another milestone for MWCC's wind project.

"There are 120 pins that it sits on and it has to be perfectly lined up. It was an anxious moment, but it was very successful," said MWCC Resident Engineer Ed Terceiro, who had the honor of attaching the final bolt.

The base was sealed with grout, which then set for two days before additional sections of the 270-foot tower were installed on Nov. 22 and 23. Following that work, the nacelle, bearing the college's initials and logo, was installed on Nov. 23.

Students, employees and passersby paused to witness various aspects of the assembly. As each piece was added to create the 270-foot tower, one couldn't help but marvel at the trio of workers stationed inside the tube, ready to attach and torque the components after they were maneuvered into place by a crane operator from Baldwin Crane and Equipment Corp. of Wilmington. The crew climbing the rungs of an internal ladder to do the assembly consists of Richard Jenkins of Texas, a project technician with Vestas, and a local father and son team, Jean and Chris Cormier, who work for Lumus Construction of Wilmington. Chris Cormier is a business administration major at MWCC.

One of the differences between open field work, in building construction, for example, and wind turbine construction is "they climb on the outside and we climb on the inside," said Jenkins, who has erected over 150 turbines. "Once you get inside the tower, the height issue goes away. You get a view that no one else gets."

Construction will continue Friday, Nov. 26. Once the blades are attached to the hub, the rotor will be lifted into place next week. Then, the assembly process will be repeated for the south turbine.

Prior to the assembly, 33 forty-foot trucks delivered crane parts over the course of nine days. A crew of six men assembled the Manitowoc crane that is being used to lift the turbine components into place.

Print shop supervisor Don Knower worked with D&G Custom Graphics of Fitchburg to adhere the college's logo and initials to both nacelles. "We've lettered some weird stuff, but this takes the cake," said D&G manager John Dupont.

Area High School Students Attend Biotechnology Expo at Devens Campus

Biotech expo 2010Nearly 75 high school students with a penchant for science attended a biotechnology expo at MWCC's Devens campus on Friday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 20. The expo was sponsored by the biotechnology/biomanufacturing department.

On Friday, groups from Nashoba Regional, Ayer, Lunenburg and Minuteman high schools toured the biotech labs, participated in experiments and learned about careers in the burgeoning field.

On Saturday, 15 students from MWCC's College Access & Preparation Programs had their turn. That group included eight GEAR UP students from Fitchburg High School and seven Upward Bound Math Science students from Gardner, Winchendon and Athol.
Students participated in several demonstrations led by MWCC faculty and students and volunteers from Bristol-Myers Squibb, including DNA extraction from strawberries, pGLO bacterial transformation, an introduction to bioreactors and microbe identification.

"Interest in biotechnology is growing," among teenagers as they become more informed about what it is, said David Form, a teacher at Nashoba. The expo helped make the field come alive for them, he said, by providing "hands-on, real world applications" that are "fun and interesting."
Pictured: Robert Stiling, a senior at Ayer High School and Chaz Hicks, a junior at Minuteman High School, watch Ayer juniors Tina Greis and Marissa Murphy extract DNA from strawberries during the Biotechnology Expo.
Guest Speakers Share Perspectives on High Profile Crime Cases
Col. Mark Delaney (MSP, Ret.) and Reed HillmanCriminal Justice and Paralegal Studies students gained insight into their chosen fields through presentations by guest speakers who shared their perspectives on high-profile crime cases.

On Nov. 4, Col. Mark Delaney, retired commander of the Massachusetts State Police, discussed a cold case investigation with students enrolled in criminal justice and paralegal studies courses, and on Nov. 24, Heather Bish returned to MWCC to discuss the abduction and murder of her sister, Molly Bish, and present a victim family's perspective on the investigation and aftermath. The presentations were arranged by Assistant Professor Reed Hillman, chair of the Criminal Justice Program and also a former commander of the Massachusetts State Police.

Delaney, who retired in 2009, visited the campus to tell the story of the investigation into the murder of 14-year-old Robin Gilbert in Reading, Mass. in 1975. Despite being found in a wooded area of a golf course, covered in leaves and with her clothing torn, the death was originally attributed to natural causes by a medical examiner. More than two decades later, a deathbed confession from a mother who believed her son had committed the murder led to the eventual conviction on manslaughter charges David Jones. The case was legally complex, due to a lack of physical evidence resulting from the initial ruling. Col. Delaney was the homicide commander of the Middlesex District Attorney's office at the time, and headed up the case, which was televised on Dateline NBC.

Heather Bish shared the heart-wrenching account of Molly's disappearance from her lifeguard station at Comins Pond in Warren on June 27, 2000, the recovery of her remains nearly three years later, and the work of the Bish family as national advocates for child safety through the Molly Bish Foundation. Although the case remains unsolved, police are investigating a former Massachusetts resident who was recently found guilty of murdering his girlfriend in Florida.
Each year, more than 58,000 non-family abductions occur in the U.S. and more than 1 million children are reported missing, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. By channeling their grief into advocacy, the Bish family was instrumental in bringing the Amber Alert to Massachusetts, initiated the annual Massachusetts Missing Children's Day, and has distributed more than 170,000 child safety I.D. kits by volunteering at community events.
"There are kids who are alive today because of the efforts of the Bish family," Hillman said.

Pictured: Assistant Professor Reed Hillman introduces Col. Mark Delaney to students.

Theatre at the Mount Announces 2011 Season 

Theatre at the Mount has announced its 2011 season of plays.

A modern day musical theatre addict drops the needle on his favorite LP - the 1928 musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone.  From the crackle of his hi-fi, the musical magically bursts to life on-stage telling the tale of a pampered Broadway starlet who wants to give up show business to get married, her producer who sets out to sabotage the nuptials, her chaperone, the debonair groom, the dizzy chorine, the Latin lover and a pair of gangsters who double as pastry chefs. Performances are February 25, 26; March 4, 5 at 8 p.m. and March 6 at 2 p.m.

Christmas in June? Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings is a singing, swinging holiday treat wrapped up in a nifty package with a big bow on top! As ordered by a heavenly phone call from Rosemary Clooney, the Plaids stage a nostalgic holiday extravaganza filled with familiar songs and Christmas standards plus a new episode of "The Ed Sullivan Show." The hilarious, heavenly quartet is back and this unexpected summer delight is truly "heaven sent!" Performances are June 17, 18, 24, 25 at 8 p.m. and June 26 at 2 p.m.
Based on Puccini's opera La Boheme, Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City. In 1996, Rent won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, taking home four, including Best Musical. Catch this musical power house on August 19, 20, 26, 27 at 8 p.m. and August 28 at 2 p.m.
Break out your go-go boots for Beehive, a musical journey through the 1960's beginning with the tall and sticky beehive and ending in the long, flowing hair of the Age of Aquarius. Relive music's golden era and an empowering time in history with The Name Game, The Beat Goes On, Respect, Natural Woman, My Boyfriend's Back, One Fine Day, To Sir With Love, It's My Party, Proud Mary, Downtown and many more! Beehive, the 60's Musical runs October 7, 8, 14, 15 at 8 p.m. and October 16 at 2 p.m.
Freely based on the book of Genesis, Children Of Eden is a frank, heartfelt and often humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children. Adam, Eve, Noah and the "Father" who created them deal with the headstrong, cataclysmic actions of their respective children. The show ultimately delivers a bittersweet but inspiring message: that "the hardest part of love... is letting go." Performances are November 25, 26, December 2, 3 at 8 p.m. and November 27 and December 4 at 2 p.m.
Season tickets for all five shows are just $65 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets or request a season brochure, call the Theatre at the Mount box office at 978 632-2403. Tickets may also be purchased online at

Upcoming Events

The hustle and bustle of Christmas in New York City comes to the Theatre at the Mount stage in Silver Bells (It's Christmas Time in the City). This traditional-meets-untraditional holiday spectacular features dazzling sets, stunning costumes, Broadway-style dance, favorite holiday songs, the elegance and excitement of Times Square, Radio City Music Hall and St. Patrick's Cathedral, and a visit from Santa himself! Conceived and directed by Chris Casello, Silver Bells features a talented cast of more than 60 singers and dancers. Performances are Nov. 26, 27, and Dec. 3 and 4 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 28, Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. Evening tickets are $20, matinee tickets are $15, and tickets for children age 16 and under are $10. Advance reservation is strongly recommended. For tickets, call the box office at (978) 632-2403 or go online at

The fall Student Life Film Festival will conclude on Wednesday, Nov. 30 with The Way We Get By, which chronicles the work of the Maine Troop Greeters, a group of Maine senior citizens who have made it their mission to greet returning combat veterans as they pass through the Bangor International Airport on their way back from serving overseas. The greeters ensure that the service men and women receive an encouraging welcome, a hug or a handshake, and the use of a cell phone so they can call their loved ones, no matter what time of day their plane touches down. The screening will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café.

"Work in Glass," an exhibit by Cushing Academy students Zachary Mafera and Alanna Priest, is on exhibit in the East Wing Gallery through Dec. 1. A reception will take place Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the gallery. Regular hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m
The Fitness & Wellness Center will continue its 15th anniversary celebration with an open house on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include tours, information about fitness programs, membership discounts, prizes and more. New members signing up during the event will receive $15 off the price of a three-month membership, plus no initiation fee. The center's amenities include a 25-yard pool, new training and cardiovascular equipment, locker rooms, racquetball, basketball and volleyball courts, and more than 50 group exercise classes led by certified trainers. For more information, call (978) 630-9212.

The LaChance Library has extended it hours to accommodate students and the public as the fall semester concludes. The library will be open on Saturday, Dec. 4 and Saturday Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Patrons are asked to park in lot C and enter at stairwell 2. For more information, call (978) 630-9125.

MWCC's annual Winter Fest Fair, sponsored by the Student Life office and Student Services division, will take place Dec. 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Commons area. Student clubs and organizations will be raffling off decorated wreaths to benefit the Peter J. Trainor Leadership Award, and trees decorated by various campus departments will be raffled off, with proceeds benefiting the student emergency fund, scholarships and related student projects. Crafters and vendors will be selling holiday floral arrangements, wooden lanterns, children's books, pottery and jewelry, framed sports and celebrity photos, Irish items and crystals, baked goods, candles and more.

Students interested in learning about the spring 2011 course Introduction to Europe are invited to attend an information session with Professor Bonnie Toothaker on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon in room 361. This three-credit, multi-faceted course allows students the opportunity to experience the cultures of England and France through short-term travel. Classroom coursework will culminate with a 10-day trip to London and Paris in May.

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: Dec. 21, 3 to 4 p.m., Gardner campus, room 125; Complementary Health Care/Physical Therapist Assistant: Dec. 14, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner campus, room 125; Dental Hygiene: Dec. 15, 2 to 3 p.m., Burbank Campus, Fitchburg; Energy Management: Dec. 16, 3 to 4 p.m., Devens campus; Nursing A.S. Degree: Dec. 7, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner campus, room 204; and Practical Nursing Certificate: Dec. 14, 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
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