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Dec. 8, 2010

In This Issue
One Up, One to Go
Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry Endorses MWCC's Programs
Art Students Recognized for Mural Project at Cruisers Malt Shoppe
Theatre at the Mount Announces 2011 Season
Upcoming Events
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One Up, One to Go 

MWCC North TurbineWith one turbine up and one to go, MWCC's wind energy project has reached the halfway mark. Work crews last week attached the three massive blades to the turbine's hub, then hoisted the entire 100,000 pound assembly into place at the top of a 270-foot tower on Sunday, Dec. 5.

"It's wonderful to reach this milestone," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. The wind project is capping off a decade of renewable energy initiatives aimed at saving the college money while benefitting the environment, he said. The two 1.65-megawatt wind turbines will provide power to 97 percent of the college's electrical needs and return approximately 30 percent of the power generated back into the grid.

Ironically, it was the wind itself that dictated when the rotor would be set in place, as high gusts and steady breezes on numerous days factored into the decision of when to complete the assembly. "Once we got it in the air, it went very well," said MWCC Resident Engineer Ed Terceiro.

Waiting at the top to attach the final section were four workers that includes local residents Jean and Chris Cormier, who work for Lumus Construction of Wilmington, Tom MacIsaac, also from Lumus, and Richard Jenkins of Texas, a technician with Vestas, which manufactured the college's turbines.  As two cranes worked in unison to maneuver the rotor into place and the four-member team secured it, other members of the construction team were stationed on three tag lines, holding onto ropes attached to the blades to prevent them from spinning.

Throughout the construction of the north turbine, local residents, students and other members of the college community paused to marvel at the extraordinary site. Onlookers included Gardner resident Ken Johnson, a mechanical engineer with Bose audio company, who was headed to the college's Fitness & Wellness Center for a workout, but decided to watch the construction instead.

"I was just amazed by the sheer size of the turbines when they were delivered, then over the last couple of weeks I watched the tower go up, and was just fortunate enough to see the blades go up today." Watching the crew on top of the turbine led him to wonder, "Is there a ladder or a spiral staircase in there?"

This week, the giant Manitowac 2250 crane has begun its crawl down the access road to the site of the south turbine, which will be assembled next.


The $9 million wind project, part of the Massachusetts Leading By Example renewable energy initiative, 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 Renewal Energy Bond (CREB) made available through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act; and $3.7 million from Massachusetts Clean Energy Investment Bonds.

Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry Endorses MWCC's Programs 
Mount Wachusett Community College and seven sister colleges have been endorsed by the state's biotechnology industry for providing outstanding academic programs in the emerging field.

During a ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 8 in Cambridge, 11 biotechnology degree and certificate programs at eight Massachusetts community colleges were recognized for training students with the skills and experiences they need to enter the biotechnology industry as it grows and hires, according to the Massachusetts Life Science Education Consortium (MLSEC).
"These endorsements are the first step in the collaboration between industry and academia to raise the level of workforce preparedness and ensure Massachusetts' economic future," said Lance Hartford, executive director of MassBioEd. "This program addresses concerns related to biotechnology, one of Massachusetts' economic engines, and is a model that can be applied to other industry clusters and to wider regional and national concerns for alignment between workforce needs and college graduate preparedness."
"We're proud of the success of our biotechnology program, which provides students with the opportunity to learn from first class scientists on state-of-the-art equipment," said Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel M. Asquino. "We were able to establish this program with the support of a number of companies in our region, including Bristol-Myers Squibb in Devens, that are eager to partner with the college and our graduates."

MWCC offers an associate degree and a certificate program in biomanufacturing/biotechnology, which prepares students for technician-level positions within the industry and provides an academic foundation for those continuing on for a bachelor's degree. The college also received a $1.6 million grant from the federal Department of Labor to offer a free workforce development program for students over the past three years.

"Our biotechnology program, along with many other academic programs, including the new Energy Management degree and certificate programs, enables the college to provide residents of our region with gainful employment in emerging industries of the future," the president added.

MLSEC is a joint initiative between the MassBioEd Foundation and MassBio whose mission is to promote a coordinated approach to the development of the Massachusetts life sciences workforce through a partnership between the life sciences industry and higher education. The MLSEC Board of Directors includes representatives from the biotechnology industry and Massachusetts' colleges. The consortium has worked with community colleges and industry to define the competencies biotechnology students need to transition into the workforce.
"Biotechnology companies continue to choose to grow or locate to Massachusetts largely because of the talented workforce, and we must work to maintain that competitive edge," said Robert K. Coughlin, MassBio President & CEO. "The work the MLSEC has done to align community college programs with industry needs is a huge step in the right direction to building the biotechnology workforce of the future."
This is the first sustained effort to connect higher educational degree programs directly with the biotechnology industry, ensuring Massachusetts' future workforce has the skills and experience required to fill the jobs of the future. Speakers included Richard Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education, Paul Reville, Secretary of Education, and Joanne Goldstein, Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development.

Art Students Recognized for Mural Project at Cruisers Malt Shoppe

Cruisers mural projectThough bobby sox and poodle skirts went out of style long before they were even born, a group of MWCC art students took a trip back in time to create a 1950's-themed mural for Cruiser's Malt Shoppe on Central Street. The students - Misti Rahaim, and 2010 graduates Liam Malley, Samantha Minter and Ashley Ruel - were recognized by college officials, community leaders and the malt shop's owners during a dedication ceremony on Friday Dec. 3.

Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke, Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce President Jim Bellina and Cruisers owners Mark and Martina LeBlanc gathered at the shop, along with the student artists, Thomas Matsuda, associate professor of art, Dr. Melissa Fama, vice president of academic affairs, and Caela Provost from MWCC's Center for Democracy & Humanity, along with several parents and friends. The LeBlancs presented the students with gifts and had a plaque made bearing their names which will hang in the restaurant in recognition of their work.

The mural project continues a community program that began in 2008, when MWCC art students were asked by Colonial Co-Op Bank to create murals as a service learning project for the then-vacant Goodnow Pearson building, which has since been renovated. In spring 2009, students were asked by Gardner Ale House owner Rick Walton to create murals for the exterior of his Parker Street establishment.

"It was fun," said Ruel, now a student at the Montserrat College of Art, who worked on a restaurant and drive-in scene as well as the "motorcycle dude." Malley, who also worked on the Ale House mural project, said the service learning component was an "added bonus," because the students "got to do what we love."

Fama congratulated the artists on behalf of MWCC President Daniel Asquino. "The mural project is really been a great way for students to build their portfolio and give back the community," she said.
The mayor described the project as "a beautiful addition" to the city, and Matsuda spoke of the benefits of the mural project. "It's good for the students because it gives them exposure and experience with this type of project. And it's good for Gardner."

"The place looks fantastic," Martina LeBlanc said. "I'm glad we had the opportunity to do this. It's great for downtown and it's great for the students."

Pictured: Celebrating the new mural at Cruisers Malt Shoppe are, from left: owners Mark and Martina LeBlanc, artists Ashley Ruel, Misti Rahaim and Liam Malley, Mayor Mark Hawke, and Chamber President Jim Bellina. Missing from photo: Samantha Minter, past president of the Art Club.

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 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. 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.

The academic success of graduates of MWCC's Practical Nurse program will be recognized during a traditional pinning ceremony in the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. During the ceremony, each graduate, dressed in a traditional nurse uniform, will be welcomed into the profession by having a nursing pin fastened to her/his lapel by a fellow nurse, a family member, friend or faculty member.
A Business Capstone Case Study presentation will take place Friday, Dec. 17 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Frank Hirons multi-media complex, room 127. This semester, former MWCC Foundation Chair Fred Healy, president of Workers Credit Union, invited the business students to use his organization as the subject of their final case study analysis. A reception will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the formal presentation at 9.
"Landscape Pastels," an exhibit by local artist Janet Palin, is on display in the East Wing Gallery through Dec. 22. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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; 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