March 1, 2011

In This Issue
MWCC Receives $100,000 Grant from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
Greg Clement Receives National Diversity Achievement Award
Theatre at the Mount Begins New Year with Awards and Exhibit
Peace Walkers Visit MWCC
Upcoming Events
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MWCC Receives $100,000 Grant from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

MWCC will receive $100,000 for new biotechnology equipment at its Devens campus through a program initiated by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.


The center, a quasi-public agency in charge of implementing the state's 10-year $1 billion life sciences initiative, announced its first round of grants through its new Equipment and Supplies Program for Skills Training and Education, which provides funding for the purchase of equipment at community colleges, vocational technical schools and workforce training organizations in Massachusetts.


The new equipment program, announced last fall by Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray at a statewide STEM summit, will provide grants totaling more than $3.4 million to 32 schools to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics education across the state. Nine of the awardees have secured sponsors from companies and institutions across the state.


Through its support for MWCC's biotechnology/biomanufacturing program, the pharmaceutical corporation Bristol-Myers Squibb is recognized as the college's sponsor.


"We are very pleased to receive this award for the expanded training opportunities it will provide to our biotechnology students," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "Our relationship with industry, and specifically with our sponsor Bristol-Myers Squibb, has helped us identify unmet training needs that are best addressed with technology currently in use by industry. Thanks to the support of the Commonwealth, through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Grant we will be able to provide advanced cell culture, microbial analysis, cleaning validation, and process analysis training previously not available."


The grant program seeks to further develop the state's life science workforce. The student population that will benefit from these equipment grants represents a diverse workforce, including workers seeking re-training and low-income individuals preparing for entry-level positions.


"Massachusetts is not only a global leader in the life sciences, but also in education, and the Commonwealth's success on both fronts is no coincidence," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Initiatives like the Equipment and Supplies Program for Skills Training and Education provide the tools that our workforce needs to prepare for the new jobs we are creating in our innovation economy."


The Commonwealth's focus on STEM education continues to strengthen both our education system and the life sciences industry in regions across the state" said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, who chairs the state's STEM Advisory Council. "Through this new Life Sciences Center program, we will provide schools and the business community with significant tools that will support our future workforce by preparing students today for careers in the many growing, innovative sectors."


"Leaders in the life sciences industry always tell me that they need skilled workers, such as lab technicians and individuals who have had hands-on training in biomanufacturing," said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. 


"This is where the Center can make a difference - our Equipment and Supplies Program for Skills Training and Education stimulates the creation of partnerships between industry and educational organizations to truly provide the Commonwealth's students and displaced workers with hands-on training in the use of modern equipment. We are especially proud that we could help so many worthy programs across the state."


MWCC will host an information session about its biotechnology program on Monday, April 11 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at its Devens campus. For more information about the program, contact Tami Morin at 978-630-9578 or

Greg Clement Receives National Diversity Achievement Award

Greg Clement NACA AwardGreg Clement, assistant dean of student services at MWCC, has long been recognized by students, faculty and staff for providing exceptional services and programs to the college community. Now, Clement has been nationally recognized by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) with this year's  Outstanding Diversity Achievement Award.


"This is an extraordinary honor which makes me extremely proud of the student life staff and Mount Wachusett Community College," said Clement, who was honored in February during NACA's national convention in St. Louis, Missouri. "I am pleased that our ongoing efforts to ensure diversity programs and events at MWCC are a major part of our program and co-curricular activities." 


The Outstanding Diversity Achievement Award was established to recognize individuals at NACA member institutions who have contributed positively to the development of programs and services promoting cultural diversity, understanding and awareness.  


Clement was nominated by his colleagues for the award based on his six-year track record of providing diversity education programming while overseeing the student life office. Clement has brought a variety of events to campus, including film festivals, unity dinners, panel presentations and guest speakers covering issues such as autism, sexual orientation and race relations.  


"My favorite part of my job is to support activities and initiatives geared toward achieving and maintaining a campus environment that reflects the diversity of our community," said Clement. 

Executive Vice President Ann S. McDonald, one of four who nominated Clement for the award,  attributes his enthusiasm, dedication and creativity to his success. "Greg has left an indelible mark on the college community and student body and symbolizes all of the hallmarks of a stellar student affairs and diversity programming professional," said McDonald. 


Clement was also nominated by Dr. Vincent M. Bates, dean of Liberal Arts, Math, Education and Developmental Studies, Karen Costa, director of Student Success and co-advisor of the PRIDE Club, and Marsha Poor, human resources information systems specialist, cultural diversity co-chair and
liaison to the Minority Coalition of North Central Massachusetts.


The NACA awards committee selects up to two awards annually, selecting individuals who are full-time professional staff members from a NACA member institution that contributes and serves diverse populations, demonstrates a record for enhancing awareness and understanding of diverse cultures, and creates original programs and services.  


NACA is an organization that advances campus activities in higher education through a business and learning partnership, creating educational and business opportunities for its school and professional members. Established in 1960 to help increase the buying power of campus programming dollars, NACA now has more than 950 college and university members and over 500 associate members who represent artists, lecturers and performers. 

- Kim Anderson


Theatre at the Mount Begins New Year with Awards and Exhibit

EevaTheatre at the Mount certainly has started the new year in the spotlight. Not only have two long-serving members been recognized for their dedication, but the Gardner Museum will open an exhibit this week celebrating the 35-year history of the theatre. 


Moments before the opening of The Drowsy Chaperone on Feb. 25, Gardner resident Eeva Stromski was honored with the American Association of Community Theatre Spotlight Award for her volunteer service. Stromski has been a part of Theatre at the Mount for more than 25 years after her son Ed, who frequently played trombone "in the pit," encouraged her to get involved with community theatre. At his urging she auditioned for Anything Goes and was cast in the production.


Since then, Stromski has moved from onstage to backstage working as a member of stage crew for nearly every production and doing every thing from costumes to ushering. She's even ironed the stage curtain.  


"If Eeva is working in a show, there is a feeling that it will be a great show. It is always reassuring to know Eeva is there to help dress, set props, or place set pieces," said Diane Twiss, a Theatre at the Mount performer. "She is that quiet, steady presence backstage that calms both actors and stage crew alike." 


AACT, based in Texas, is a networking, advocacy and support organization representing more than 7,000 theatres, including Theatre at the Mount.


Professor Gail Steele, Theatre at the Mount director, will be recognized in March by the Federation for Children with Special Needs during its Visions of Community 2011 celebration at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. Steele will receive the Community Partner Award for Theatre at the Mount's work to create and support the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, those at-risk, or those who face cultural or linguistic barriers. 


To keep the celebration going, Another Opening, Another Show, an exhibit exploring the 35-year history of Theatre at the Mount, will be on display March 2 through June 10 at the Gardner Museum. Photos, costumes, set pieces, props and more will be on display as part of the museum's exhibit on "Central Massachusetts' Premier Theatre." A wine and cheese reception will take place March 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. 


Regular museum hours are Wednesdays through Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free for museum members, and $3 for non-members.  


Pictured: Professor Gail Steele, Theatre at the Mount director, left, and volunteer Eeva Stromski.

Peace Walkers Visit MWCC 

Peace monksMonks and peace walkers from the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass. paid a visit to MWCC during the 10th annual Walk for a New Spring to promote peace.
According to the event's organizer, Tim Bullock, this is the third year the Walk for a New Spring has come to the college, through the invitation of Assistant Professor of Art Tom Matsuda. "The walk is about planting seeds, we are returning to see the growth," Bullock said.
The two-week walk, which covers 260 miles total and 184 walked miles in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, ended Feb. 28 at the Statehouse in Boston, where the group planned to present a letter chronicling their experiences to the office of Governor Deval Patrick. "The letter will deliver ideas and share feelings of people we met along the way," Bullock said. 
Bullock also planned to share information about the college's sustainability efforts with others they encountered on the walk.
The walk is initiated every year by Nipponzan Myohoji, New England Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist order originating in Japan that builds peace pagodas around the world. The group's goal is to visit communities along the route, listen to local concerns and solutions to war, sustainable living and peace in response to 9/11 a decade ago.
The walk uses the analogy of spring as a way to illustrate growth. "Spring gives room for things to grow, people compassion and the loving mind," said Bullock.

Peace cranes were presented on behalf of the walk to Sharyn Rice, senior vice president of Advancement and External Affairs, and Kevin Whitman, president of the Art Club, to thank the college for providing lunch. The visit was coordinated by Matsuda with food donations from the Art Club and members of the nursing department.
- Kim Anderson
Pictured: Peace walkers and monks visit MWCC.

Upcoming Events

Jimmy TingleReservations are now being accepted for the MWCC Foundation's Annual Dinner and 40th Anniversary Celebration, which will take place Wednesday, April 6 at the Colonial Hotel. Paula and Francis d'Entremonts, key organizers of the highly successful Greater Gardner Relay for Life, will be recognized as the Harold E. Drake, Jr. Citizens of the Year. Entertainment will be provided by stand-up comedian Jimmy Tingle. Student scholarship recipients also will be recognized. The celebration begins with a social hour starting at 5:30. Tickets are $75. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting Jessica Connors at 978-630-9387 or  


In celebration of Mardi Gras, the Student Life office and CATS will sponsor the annual Mardi Gras Carnival on Thursday, March 3 from 6 to 10 p.m. is the South Cafe. The carnival will feature karaoke from 6 to 8 p.m. and dancing from 8 to 10 p.m. Costume prizes of $100, $70 and $30 will be awarded and a door prize of $100 will be awarded hourly. Snacks and beverages will be provided. Admission is free for MWCC students, faculty and staff and a guest.


Another Opening, Another Show, an exhibit exploring the 35-year history of Theatre at the Mount, will be on display March 2 through June 10 at the Gardner Museum. Photos, costumes, set pieces, props and more will be on display as part of the museum's exhibit on "Central Massachusetts' Premier Theatre." Museum hours are Wednesdays through Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free for museum members and $3 for non-members. A wine and cheese reception will take place March 10 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Theatre at the Mount's production of The Drowsy Chaperone continues March 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. and March 6 at 2 p.m. A modern-day musical theatre addict listens to his rare record of a 1928 musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone. The musical magically bursts to life in his very apartment. In his own front row seat, he learns the tale of a pampered Broadway starlet who wants to get married and leave show business forever. The characters surrounding this starlet are her producer who tries to sabotage the nuptials, her chaperone, her charming groom, the dizzy chorine, the Latin lover, and a pair of gangsters who pose as pastry chefs. Tickets are $20 for evening shows, $15 for the matinee, and $10 for students and may be purchased at the TAM box office, by phone at 978-632-2403 or online at

Sonya Shelton ExhibitA Rediscovery of Analog Photography," an exhibit of photography by MWCC Computer Graphic Design instructor Sonya Shelton, is on display through March 18 in the East Wing Gallery of the Raymond M. Lafontaine Fine Arts Center. The gallery will be closed on March 17. Regular hours are Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


MWCC nursing students and the Montachusett Opportunity Council's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program will present an Environmental Health Fair on Wednesday, March 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Health Connections' Bullock Building Lobby, 275 Nichols Road, Fitchburg. Topics covered will include lead poisoning, healthy homes, asthma, cosmetics, personal care products, pesticides and green cleaning.


Professor Sue Goldstein's Journalism I class and the office of Student Life will present the Women's Herstory Project March 9 through March 31 in the South Cafe. The display, in celebration of Women's History Month, highlights 10 women from the MWCC community who play an important role in the lives of students on campus.


MWCC's offices of Admissions and Career Services will offer a free workshop, "Career Night: An Opportunity for Career Exploration and Development," on Wednesday, March 16 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in room 127 and in the Commons area. Participants will be given an opportunity to discover their personality types using Holland's Theme Codes, a system that classifies jobs into work personalities. The work personalities are then used to determine possible career choices compatible with the individual. Attendees will be guided through the process of finding occupations, predicting job availability, salaries, required education, appropriate academic majors, and more. Advisors will be available to answer questions and provide information on admissions, financial aid and transfer opportunities. Several MWCC alumni will speak about their theme codes and how their particular codes affect job performance and satisfaction in their current occupations. Register by March 14 by calling 978-630-9568 or email


MWCC's new Rx Program for students interested in health care careers will host an Opening Kick-off reception on Tuesday, March 22 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in room 071 in the LaChance Library. The Rx Program is an educational opportunity TRiO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide support services for students enrolled in MWCC's health sciences programs. The Rx Program helps low-income, first-generation college students and/or students with disabilities achieve their academic goals and assists those who wish to transfer to a four-year institution.


The Student Life Spring Film Festival will continue on Wednesday, March 23, at 12:30 p.m. in the North Cafe with Iron Jawed Angels, in celebration of Women's History Month. This film tells the story of two important women in the history of suffrage in the United States. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns began a more radical branch of women fighting for the right to vote. They found themselves up against powerful men, an atmosphere of chauvinism, an unconcerned President and even their own more conservative counterparts as they risked their lives and loves to fight for what they believed in.


The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is available at MWCC's Gardner and Leominster campuses. In Gardner, assistance is available in room 240 on Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 978-630-9124. At the Leominster campus, appointments are available on Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. Appointments can be made through MOC by calling 978-343-5706. In addition, assistance is available in Fitchburg at the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center on Mondays and Wednesdays by calling 978-342-2069, ext. 200 and on Tuesdays and Saturdays at the MOC office by calling 978-343-5706.

MWCC is offering Information Sessions on a number of academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Clinical Laboratory Science: March 23, 4 to 5 p.m., Heywood Hospital, Gardner; Physical Therapist Assistant: March 22, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner campus, room 204; Dental Hygiene: March 16, 2 to 3 p.m., Burbank campus; and Practical Nursing Certificate: March 7, 5 to 6 p.m., Devens campus, room 124 and March 15, 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