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Dec. 22, 2010

In This Issue
And Then There Were Two
PN Graduates Welcomed Into Nursing Profession
Business Students Prepare Strategic Assessment for Local Credit Union
MWCC Employees Raise $51,698 for COMECC/United Way
MWCC Honor Societies Launch "Operation Veteran Outreach"
MWCC Hosts Information Security Seminar
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And Then There Were Two 

MWCC's Two TurbinesConstruction of MWCC's second 1.65 MW Vestas V82 wind turbine was completed on Friday, Dec. 17 with the twilight lift of the massive rotor.

Construction of the south turbine tower began on Friday, Dec. 10, when the base component was set in place. On Monday, Dec. 14, the remaining sections of the tower were assembled, followed by the nacelle the next day.

Now that both turbines are up, work will continue to link them to the college's electrical system. In early 2011, both towers will be commissioned to ensure they are operating properly, training will take place for members of the facilities department, and the turbines will go online with National Grid, said MWCC Resident Engineer Ed Terceiro.

"Our hope is to have them operational in late January or early February," he said.

Over the past decade, the college has made extraordinary strides in renewable energy initiatives, saving nearly $4 million in utility costs while simultaneously benefitting the environment, MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino said. 

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.

PN Graduates Welcomed Into Nursing Profession 

PN Pinning CeremonyFriends, relatives and members of the college community gathered Dec. 14 to welcome 28 graduates of MWCC's Practical Nursing program into the nursing profession during a traditional pinning ceremony.

During the ceremony, each graduate, dressed in a traditional nurse uniform, was welcomed into the profession by having a nursing pin fastened to her or his lapel by a fellow nurse - a family member, friend or faculty member. MWCC's eight-star pin is imprinted with the words "Service to Humanity and the World" with the nursing symbol in the middle. The pin symbolizes the medal of excellence Florence Nightingale presented to the women who nursed the wounded soldiers of the Crimean War.

The ceremony also included the traditional recitation of the Florence Nightingale Pledge and lighting of a candle as a symbol of the care and devotion nurses administer to the ill and injured.
"You have persevered through difficult courses and exhausting clinical rotations, all while taking care of family. We're very proud of you," said Eileen Costello, dean of health sciences and community service programs.

Diane King, MWCC's coordinator of health services and an alumna of the college, delivered the keynote address on "Affirming the Art of Nursing." She encouraged the graduates to reflect on their experiences as students, continue to provide compassionate care to their patients, become active listeners in their patient care, and continue to seek professional and career development.


Dr. Melissa Fama, vice president of academic affairs and Dr. Kimberly Crocker Crowther, MWCC's new director of nursing, also addressed the students. "I wish you the ability to be a hero in small ways every day, because that is what touches patients most," Crowther said.


Associate Professor Kathleen Panagiotes spoke on the significance of the pinning ceremony and other traditions, and class representatives Bernard McGuirk and Samantha Larocque delivered student addresses.

As part of the rigorous academic program, the students train with professionals at a number of clinical sites that partner with the college, including Athol Memorial Hospital; Central New England Health Alliance- Leominster Campus; Davota Dialysis Group; Diversified Visiting Nurses Association; Gardner Community Health Center; Golden Living Center; Heywood Hospital;  Jewish Community Health Center; Legend Center for Nursing; Nashoba Valley Health Care; Quabbin Valley Health Care; Saint Vincent Hospital; The Highlands; and Wachusett Extended Care.

Pictured: Marjorie Ferguson, a class representative, lights a symbolic candle during the traditional nurse pinning ceremony.

Business Students Prepare Strategic Assessment for Local Credit Union

Business Capstone ClassStudents enrolled in MWCC's Strategic Management business capstone course gained real-world experience this semester while simultaneously providing a local organization with an in-depth analysis of its operations.

The students conducted a case study analysis of Fitchburg-based Workers' Credit Union, continuing a trend in the rigorous capstone course of working with locally-based organizations. Area corporations that have previously participated in the program include Nypro, Inc. during the fall 2009 semester and Bemis Worldwide during the spring 2010 semester. 

Workers' senior management team worked closely with the students to provide data and information used in the analysis, resulting in a document that the business leaders likened to a product comparable to that of a consulting firm.

"Workers Credit Union has a long history of being supportive of Mount Wachusett Community College, so it's a bit different for us to be the recipient," said David Rodgers, senior vice president of commercial development. "We're proud to have been selected."

The student team analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, made comparisons to local financial institutions, provided marketing tactics geared toward ways to reach the teenage "millennial" population as well as older members, and more. Workers' Credit Union was founded in 1914 as a not-for-profit, full service credit union and has grown to more than $770 million in assets and serve more than 66,000 members and has 14 branches throughout North Central Massachusetts.

The course culminated with an eight-week component in which the students applied the skills they have learned throughout their academic program, said Business Professor Dr. Michael T. Greenwood. Business Professors Linda Bolduc and John Reilly were recognized for their dedication and experience working with the students.

"This course was extraordinarily tough, but with rigorous practice and a great team, everything we went through became a challenge worth taking on," said Tia-Marie Babineau of Templeton, one of the team's three project managers. "In the end, this class was one of the best classes I have ever taken and a learning experience I will never forget."

Project manager Andrew David of Fitchburg said the course helped hone leadership skills, while Andrew Elliott of Leominster, also serving as a project manager, said the course helped him realize his "true potential." 


Pictured: Front row: Stephanie Tang, Matt Maguy, Meghan Martone, Raeanne Gage, Andrew Elliott; back row: Professor Michael T. Greenwood, Josh Lazo, Liz Carr, Tim Pedersen, Brittany Altobelli, Cassandra Cohen, Tia-Marie Babineau and Andrew David.


MWCC Employees Raise $51,698 for 2011 COMECC/United Way

COMECC CampaignMWCC employees contributed generously to the 2011 Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employees Charitable Campaign (COMECC) and the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. Through voluntary one-time donations and payroll deductions, and various on-campus fundraisers, faculty and staff pledged a total of $51,698 to aid those in need.

"I am extremely proud of the MWCC community and the generosity demonstrated during this campaign," said college President Daniel M. Asquino. "Collectively, the contributions made by MWCC employees will greatly benefit residents in our region and throughout the Commonwealth. Through the contributions made to this campaign, we usher in the new year with the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor."

"We greatly appreciate the generosity of the college employees" said Phil Grzewinski, president of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. "There is tremendous need in our communities, particularly now in this economy, and this contribution will assist the residents of our region in a very significant way."

The annual campaign at MWCC is coordinated by the college's Human Resources office and is chaired by Connie Helstowski, Director of Payroll & Benefits. This year's goal was $47,000. The college exceeded that goal by 10 percent.

COMECC, established in 1984, gives state employees the opportunity to support private, nonprofit health and human services and environmental organizations. Last year, more than $2 million was raised statewide to assist children, families and communities in Massachusetts, as well as national and global charitable endeavors.
Pictured: MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino and Connie Helstowski, MWCC's COMECC  chair, with Phil Grzewinski, President of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts.


MWCC Honor Societies Launch "Operation Veteran Outreach"

Alpha Beta GammaMembers of MWCC's two honor societies donated more than $1,500 worth of food and personal care to the Montachusett Veteran Outreach Center this month as part of "Operation Veteran Outreach."


The effort was initiated this semester by the Alpha Beta Gamma business honor society, which received a $500 social responsibility grant from the Association of College Honor Societies to implement the project. This is the first grant the chapter has applied for and received. ABG members then partnered with the college's Phi Theta Kappa honor society, conducting bake sales and other activities to raise funds and collect donations.


The donations will go directly toward helping veterans and their families, said Charles Bollinger III, executive director of MVOC. The center serves more than 150 local famlies each month.


"When a student organization actively steps up, I think that's great," Bollinger said. "It shows civic duty."


Professor Linda Bolduc, Alpha Beta Gamma advisor, said she was proud of the students' endeavor, which will continue into the spring semester. "This is what being an honor society student is all about - reaching out with selfless service."


Project participants include students Amy Doucette, Andrew Getchell, Kevin Finch, Audrey MacLean, Amanda White, Amy Gentry, Lea Smith, Nicki Richard, Heidi Hagan, Nancy Storer, alumnus Dave Bartlett, and Professors Sheila Murphy, PTK advisor and Linda Bolduc, ABG advisor.


Pictured: Members of the Alpha Beta Gamma business honor society and Professor Linda Bolduc delivered 15 boxes of food and personal care items to the Montachusett Veteran Outreach Center in Gardner. At right, MVOC Executive Director Charles Bollinger III and Tracy Dould, outreach coordinator.

MWCC Hosts Information Security Seminar

MWCC, in collaboration with the Central Links Higher Education Collaborative and the Information Security Officers Council, hosted an information security seminar on Thursday, December 9. More than 50 members of the regional higher education community attended.


Sgt. Thomas Neff of the Massachusetts State Police, Digital Evidence and Multimedia Section, delivered a keynote address on "Following the Digital Trail: Cyber Crime Investigation." 


The event was sponsored by, a Boston-based company that works to detect risks, mitigate threats and ensure compliance with recent state-mandated legislation with regard to personal information.

- Cheryl Oliveri

Pictured: Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Thomas Neff; Sherry Horeanopoulos, information security officer at Fitchburg State University and chair of the Information Security Officers Council; Susan McHugh, executive director of Information Technology Services at MWCC, and Gene Kingsley, information security officer at Holyoke Community College and vice chair of the Information Security Officers Council.

Upcoming Events

Orientation for New and Transfer Students will take place Thursday, Jan, 13 at the Gardner campus. Check in is at 8 a.m. in the South Café. The orientation runs through 2 p.m. and will include a general information session, academic and student success sessions, student IDs and more. For more information, contact the office of student life at (978) 630-9142.

MWCC's Fitness & Wellness Center will host "Know the 10 Signs," an early detection workshop presented by the Alzheimer's Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter, on Thursday, Jan. 20 from 1 to 2 p.m. The program will present facts on memory loss and behavioral changes, medications, clinical studies and more. The chapter annually hosts a Memory Walk each fall on MWCC's campus to raise money for research. The workshop is free and open to the public. To register, call 800-272-3900. 


Watch your favorite Theatre at the Mount performers compete in this take-off of the popular TV reality show, Survivor, as they try to "out sing, out perform, and out shine" in musical theatre challenges. Survivor, the Musical comes to the Theatre at the Mount stage on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. Singing, dancing, acting, puzzles, trivia, and the dreaded "tribal council" will provide a full evening of fun and proceeds will be used to support TAM's acquisition of new lighting equipment. Performers include Joyce Baldwin, Chuck Berube, Ryann Brown, Ethan  Caouette, Katrina Caouette, Kyle Carlson, Nicole Couture, Darlene Gaudet, Scott Hebert, Rob  Houle, Taylor Lawton, Tara McRae, Hillary Minicucci, Debbie Moylan, Jared Pedjoe, Pattie Pichette, David Prescott, Tim Recko, Tyler Simahk and Chelsea Young. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for subscribers and $10 for children age 16 and under and may be purchased through the box office 978-632-2403 or online at

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