March 15, 2011

In This Issue
MWCC Establishes Two Healthcare Transfer Agreements with MCPHS and Southern Vermont College
MWCC's Fire Science Technology Program Among First Accepted into National Fire Academy's New FESHE Recognition and Certificate Program
Dental Hygiene Students Attend Lobby Day
SHINE Conference Raises Awareness on Mental Health
Area Students "Ski to Success"
MWCC's 'Mountain Lions' Capture Spelling Bee Trophy
MWCC Celebrates Women's History Month
Upcoming Events
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MWCC Establishes Two Healthcare Transfer Agreements with MCPHS and Southern Vermont College  

Mount Wachusett Community College recently established two new transfer opportunities for students interested in healthcare careers.

New transfer agreements between MWCC and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science (MCPHS) and Southern Vermont College are opening new pathways for students interested in furthering their education.

"Healthcare continues to be a growing field, with tremendous need for trained professionals," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "We are excited to partner with these two institutions to expand opportunities for students interested in furthering their academic studies."

A new transfer agreement between MWCC and MCPHS will provide eligible MWCC graduates who have earned an associate degree in nursing with a direct path into a Master's of Science in Nursing program at MCPHS' Worcester campus, through the Family Nurse Practitioner Bridge Program.

As a "3 Plus One and Beyond" program, students will complete 84 credits during their first three years at MWCC, at MWCC prices, before attending MCPHS. At MCPHS, students will take an additional 20 credits, which creates a bridge to the master's program, before completing the final 40 credits in the master's program. Through this seamless transfer program, students who earn an associate degree at MWCC and become licensed registered nurses can gain experience in the nursing field while earning both a master's degree in nursing and training to become family nurse practitioners at MCPHS. 


"The college continues to explore public-private partnerships because they create exciting pathways into a profession that is constantly evolving," said MCPHS President Charles F. Monahan Jr. "We have found the clinical opportunities in Central Massachusetts to be second to none, and are very much looking forward receiving Mount Wachusett graduates."

MCPHS is one of the few private colleges in the United States specializing in the education of health professionals, and has prepared more men and women for professional careers in pharmacy than any other academic institution in the world.


"An articulation agreement is an excellent opportunity to further an education because it provides the steps, planning and coaching, while saving time and money," said Dr. Kimberly Crocker Crowther, director of Nursing at MWCC.

In the agreement between MWCC and Southern Vermont College, eligible students who graduate with an associate degree in General Studies Allied Health will have the opportunity to pursue a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Management and Advocacy. This program will provide opportunities to students interested in the healthcare field, but who are not interested in the clinical aspect of the field.

Southern Vermont College, located in Bennington, Vt., offers students a residential living and learning experience.


"Southern Vermont College is delighted to be partnering with Mount Wachusett Community College," said Dr. Karen Gross, president of SVC. "Healthcare Management and Advocacy is a program that will help train much-needed healthcare workers, and graduates can find work in hospitals, doctors' offices, community health facilities, insurance companies, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and government offices. This is precisely the kind of partnership that will help the higher education community achieve President Obama's 2020 goal to get more Americans to and through college and launched in careers with real workforce needs.  We look forward to welcoming MWCC graduates to the SVC community."

For more information about these and other transfer programs, contact MWCC Transfer Counselor Limari Rivera at 978-630-9197.

 - Kim Anderson

MWCC's Fire Science Technology Program Among First Accepted into National Fire Academy's New FESHE Recognition and Certificate Program

Fire Science FESHEMWCC's Fire Science Technology program is one of the first three in the country to be officially accepted into the National Fire Academy's new FESHE Institutional Recognition and Certificate Program.

The NFA's Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE), a network of education and training providers, promotes higher education within the profession to more fully prepare firefighters and first responders and enhance public safety. FESHE's newly created Institutional Recognition and Certificate Program recognizes two-year institutions that follow the NFA's model curriculum. A similar distinction is being planned for bachelor's degree programs.

North Central Massachusetts fire chiefs and other officials who serve on MWCC's Fire Science Advisory Board actively pursued the designation and MWCC's new affiliation with FESHE, which now aligns the college's associate degree program with the national, standardized curriculum advocated by the NFA, a division of the U.S. Fire Administration.

"Our new affiliation with the National Fire Academy's FESHE program provides a wonderful opportunity for students who want to train in fire science with the latest national information," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "We are delighted to be among the first colleges to receive this  distinction."

MWCC's degree program, geared toward those already working in the field as well those interested in pursuing a fire science career, can be completed entirely online or in combination with on-campus courses. To be eligible for the FESHE recognition, institutions must offer the FESHE six-course model core curriculum, including Building Construction for Fire Protection; Fire Behavior and Combustion; Fire Prevention; Fire Protection Systems; Principles of Emergency Services; and Principles of Fire and Emergency Services Safety and Survival. Beginning this fall, MWCC's degree program will build around those core courses and incorporate seven additional FESHE courses as required and elective courses. Students pursuing the associate degree also have the option of transferring credits toward a bachelor's degree.

As part of the new program, students completing FESHE courses will receive certificates accomplishment from the NFA. In addition, MWCC and four local fire departments are partnering to provide eligible, full-time students the opportunity to serve live-in shifts at fire stations to gain practical experience.


"This affiliation aligns us with national standards that will prepare our future leaders in fire service," said Fred LeBlanc, retired chief of the Leominster Fire Department. "It will give them the tools to be better managers and better firefighters, and gives them a foundation of knowledge from a standardized curriculum that will enhance their capabilities as they carry out their daily activities."

In addition to providing firefighters with professional development and career advancement opportunities, the FESHE program provides "the most up-to-date information across the country to educate our firefighters and first responders," said Fitchburg Chief Kevin Roy, a member of the advisory board. "The profession has changed," he said, stating that building materials and hazardous materials have added a new facet to firefighting. "The whole gamut of what we do has changed dramatically, and it's extremely important that everyone is educated to the highest degree of training possible," Roy said.

The FESHE committee recently designated three community colleges as officially recognized programs, and all are in Massachusetts, said Edward J. Kaplan, section chief, Education, Training and Partnerships. In addition to MWCC, Bunker Hill Community College and Quinsigamond Community College applied for and received the recognition.

While many colleges and universities have been affiliated with the FESHE model previously, the new Recognition and Certificate program was recreated to recognize associate degree programs that adopt the NFA's curriculum.

"We want to give the colleges and the students the recognition that they deserve," Kaplan said. "And we want to help firefighters move up in their careers. When they're applying for jobs, their education and training will be tied back to the NFA."

"I think it's a great decision," said MWCC Fire Science Technology major Brenda Greenawalt, a firefighter on the Leominster department who is also double-majoring in nursing. "The online courses will provide more flexibility for fire science students to take the classes on a more convenient basis. I personally believe if you're going to be a supervisor, it's good to have the degree and the extra knowledge."

Fire Science Technology student Nathan Stahl, a firefighter in New Hampshire who is also double-majoring in General Studies-Allied Health, said he believes the FESHE status will attract more firefighters into the degree program. "As in any field, a degree will help give you an advantage over the competition."

Pictured: Fire Science Technology students Brenda and Nathan Stahl, front row, center, with members of the program's advisory board: front row, left: Deputy Chief Jerry Descoteaux, Ashburnham, and front row, right, Fitchburg Chief Kevin Roy; and back row: Lunenburg Chief Scott Glenny; Capt. Tim Johnston of Ayer Fire Department; Fred LeBlanc, retired Leominster Fire Department Chief; Westminster Chief Brenton MacAloney; Ashburnham Chief Paul Zbikowski; Deputy Chief Chris Kelley of Concord Fire Department; Revere firefighter and FESHE committee member Joe Guarnera; and MWCC Dean Janice Barney. Advisory board members not pictured: Chief Ron Therrien, Gardner Fire Department; Chief Joe Bosselait, Groton Fire Department; Vincent Ialenti, dean of Academic and Institutional Technology; Jeremiah Riordon, assistant vice president Lifelong Learning & Workforce Development; and Don Westover, director of Instructional Design.

Dental Hygiene Students Attend Lobby Day at the Statehouse

Dental Hygiene StatehouseSecond year dental hygiene students attended Dental Hygiene Lobby Day at the Statehouse in Boston on March 1. The students met and spoke with Charles Glick, lobbyist for the Massachusetts' Dental Hygienists Association, and Senator Harriet Chandler from Worcester, about the importance of providing oral healthcare services to the citizens of Massachusetts.


The students also provided oral health screenings and met individually with their state senators and state representatives to support several healthcare bills. 


The students, as future dental hygienists, are supporting Funding for Oral Health Services FY12, a bill that would restore oral health benefits for adults on Mass Health. Presently, the only services covered are preventive and extractions. If a person has a cavity, coverage for fillings would not be covered and the person would have to wait until the tooth needs to be extracted in order to receive care.


The students also joined dental hygienists in support of legislation that would allow dental hygienists to administer nitrous oxide to their patients. Although dental hygienists can now administer local anesthesia under the supervision of a dentist, many patients with dental anxiety would like a safe and proven alternative to allay anxiety. Twenty seven states currently allow dental hygienists to administer nitrous oxide as needed and Massachusetts dental hygienists are in favor of being able to provide this option to their dental patients.


Dental hygienists also support adding a subcommittee of dental hygienists to the Board Registration in Dentistry to provide greater representation and greater ability to set policies that regulate their profession. 

- Virginia Heroux


Pictured: Dental Hygiene students Angelique Cormier, Linette Austin, Jennifer Joslin and Leanne Jackson outside the Statehouse in Boston. The class of second year students attended Dental Hygiene Lobby Day on March 1 to voice support for legislation affecting dental care in Massachusetts. 

SHINE Conference Raises Awareness on Mental Health

Dr. Boris SHINE

Abraham Lincoln battled it. Napoleon, American playwright Eugene O'Neill, and the actresses Vivien Leigh and Patty Duke did, as well.

In fact, virtually everyone knows or has heard of someone suffering from mental illness, according to presentations delivered during the "Voices for Change: A Mentally Healthy Campus for All," conference held at MWCC on March 4, held in collaboration with the SHINE Initiative and Fidelity Bank.  


The conference launched a region-wide endeavor to raise awareness about behavioral health issues with the goal of helping ensure that children, teens and young adults have the support needed to succeed in school.  


The 150 students, faculty and staff who participated in the conference were welcomed by President Daniel M. Asquino, Senior Vice President of Advancement and External Affairs Sharyn Rice, and

Jim Notaro, assistant to the president of Fidelity Bank.


"This is an issue we need to talk about. It is so predominant and pervasive in our society. People just do not understand it," he said. "I know the stresses for families, for regions, for society and our country. It's one we can deal with collectively," Asquino said. 


The day began with a clinical overview of mental illness among adolescents and young adults by Dr. Boris Lorberg, medical director of the Transitions program in Worcester, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Worcester State Hospital and assistant professor of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School. 


Mental illnesses are described as diagnosable mental disorders that can be severe enough to disrupt daily functioning. Problems range from mood, anxiety and eating disorders to serious emotional disturbances. 


The SHINE Initiative aims to increase knowledge, awareness and understanding of behavioral health problems, to identify stigma and discrimination associated with behavioral health problems, and to identify additional support systems needed in schools in order to increase the graduation rate of students affected by behavioral health problems.  The goal of the event was to create system-wide change that will allow every student to successfully complete a college degree, said SHINE Initiative executive director Arlene Betteridge. 


Laura Blockel, who is successfully living with mental illness, delivered a poignant talk about her struggles before and after being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Through treatment, a strong drive to succeed, and with the support of her family and friends, the mother of two is able to manage her illness. "I am achieving goals I would not have thought of," she said.


She is a consultant for the Connection Peer Support Groups of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Massachusetts, and active member of the Genesis Clubhouse in Worcester. She is completing a master's degree in nonprofit strategic development.


Erica Tolles, LMHC, a counselor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, spoke about the peer advocacy organization Active Minds.

 - Kim Anderson


Pictured: Dr. Boris Lorberg, medical director of the Transitions program in Worcester, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Worcester State Hospital and assistant professor of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School, was among the featured speaker during the SHINE Initiative's conference,  "Voices for Change: A Mentally Healthy Campus for All." 

Area Students "Ski to Success"

Ski to SuccessAmid snow flurries, area students skied down Ralph's run at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. Some fell, some looked like pros, but all were successful in that they tried something new. These 61 area high school, middle and elementary school students were treated to a free ski day on March 14 courtesy of the Crowley family, owners and operators of the Princeton ski area.  


The Skiing to Success event, sponsored by MWCC's Division of Access and Transition, the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, and the Wachusett Mountain ski area, recognizes and rewards local students whose hard work has allowed them to overcome personal and academic obstacles to stay on the course to success.  The event included equipment rental and ski lessons from Wachusett Mountain instructors. 


The students who attended are either enrolled in College Access & Preparation Programs through Mount Wachusett Community College's Division of Access & Transition or are members of the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center in Fitchburg. 


The students were treated to a barbecue lunch mid-day at the lodge, where they were greeted by MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino and local officials. 


"The day is really about the students and their hard work," said Asquino. "It is only fitting to praise their achievements with our collaborative efforts." 


Gardner Mayor Mark P. Hawke and Leominster Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella, both alumni of MWCC, also addressed the students. 


Hawke spoke about how MWCC contributed to his educational achievements. "There is a correlation between going to class and work. The program at the Mount really put me on the right track," said Hawke, who went on to pursue bachelor's and master's degrees. 


The College Access & Preparation Programs annually provide more than 3,500 area students with academic and leadership programs, including GEAR UP, Educational Talent Search, Gateway to College, Upward Bound Math Science and MCAS Works!

 - Kim Anderson 


Pictured: Rodrigo Bernudez, Leominster High School; Sherey Hernandez, Fitchburg High School; Ariel Garnet, Gardner High School; and Diyanara Colon, Fitchburg High School.

MWCC's 'Mountain Lions' Capture Spelling Bee Trophy

Spelling BeeBoutonniere: a flower or small bouquet worn, usually by a man, in the buttonhole of a lapel. That was the word the MWCC Mountain Lions spelled to win the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Massachusetts' 8th Annual Adult Spelling Bee on March 10.


MWCC's team bested 11 other area teams to reclaim the coveted Spelling Bee Cup for the first time since 2005. Other words the team was tested on included wainscoting, yeomanry, adscititious, kinnikinnick and tennesi.


The Mountain Lions team consisted of Joseph Stiso, associate vice president of  Institutional Advancement; Caela Provost, AmeriCorps Job Ready leader; Karen Payne, staff assistant in the Institutional Advancement office; Kumar Raj, coordinator of United Way Youth Venture; and Gaurav Khanna, director of MWCC's TRiO Student Support Services. It was a first-time effort for Raj and Provost. Stiso, Khanna and Payne have participated previously, and Payne was on MWCC's winning team in 2005 as well.


"It was a great event for the Boys and Girls Club, and it was a huge team effort," said Stiso. "After 11 sudden death rounds, we're glad we won," added Khanna.


The spelling bee benefited the Boys and Girls Club annual fundraiser, the "BE GREAT Campaign," which supports after-school programs for more than 600 children in the region.


MWCC was a sponsor for the event, along with KCMC Management/Dunkin Donuts, Joe Cadette, Ron Leger, Enterprise Bank and Workers' Credit Union. 

- Kim Anderson 

MWCC Celebrates Women's History Month

Ten women from MWCC who play an important role in the lives of students have been recognized for their dedication through the "Herstory Project." Professor Susan Goldstein's Journalism I class and the office of Student Life established the service learning project, now in its third year, to recognize influential women on campus. 


This year's honorees include: Carly Sebastian, history adjunct instructor; Patricia Daigle, micro and macro economics adjunct instructor; Brenda Tatro, associate professor of medical assisting; Jennifer Cronin, English adjunct instructor; Judy Giacoppe, associate professor of nursing; Nola Sapienza, professor of health sciences/Fitness and Wellness; Heidi Silkey, Biology adjunct instructor; Sheila Murphy, professor of psychology and human services and coordinator of the Honors Program; Nancy Kennedy, senior academic counselor; and Lorie Donahue, professor of English. 


Photographs of the honorees and accompanying articles are on display throughout the month in the South Café hallway. The women featured in the Herstory Project will be recognized during a celebration on Thursday, March 31 from 12:30 to 1:30 in the South Café. 


Throughout Women's History Month, Green Street Café will be offering recipes by women who had an influence on the kitchen and life of café director and chef Lynne Franciose. In addition, a women's history quiz will be available by the Student Life bulletin board. Participants will be eligible for prizes.   


Other events celebrating Women's History Month include: 


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.
Author Connie Hanagan will speak about her book, Look Beyond the Scars, on Thursday, March 24, at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café. Hanagan, a self-abuser from age 7 into her twenties, chronicles her struggles and recovery. In the book, Hanagan reaches out to today's youth and acknowledges that they are not alone, and can recover.


An informational workshop, Women and HIV-Not a Guessing Game, will take place Monday, March 28, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in room 127. The workshop will feature a speaker living with HIV and answer questions about living with the disease. Health educators will present facts on HIV testing methods and locations. The workshop is sponsored by MWCC's Health Services, the Student Life office and MOC Community Health Education and CARE Services.


Women's Appreciation Day featuring Singer Tiff Jimber will happen on Thursday, March 31 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the South Café. Jimber has sung vocal tracks for movies such as, The Grudge, Hide and Seek, and Love Happens. Women featured in the Herstory Project will also be recognized at the event. The event is sponsored by the Student Life office, and free flowers will be distributed while supplies last.

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  


 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.
MWCC's 11th annual Junior Symposium will take place on Wednesday, March 16 and Thursday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students will participate in several seminars designed to get them ready to apply for college and prepared to enter post-secondary education, including Admissions, Financial Aid, SAT, and Accuplacer preparation. This event brings over 300 juniors from 12 school districts to the MWCC campus, putting them on the road to a successful senior year in high school, and a successful transition to post-secondary education. The event is a collaboration between MWCC's Division of Access and Transition and the Admissions office.


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.
An informational reception for the Nichols College 3 Plus One transfer program for Business Administration majors, program alumni and the public, will take place on Monday, March 28 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Devens campus. Beginning this fall, the transfer program will expand to the Devens campus. Representatives from Nichols and MWCC will be available to answer questions or students can make an appointment in advance for a one-on-one session with counselors. The 3 Plus One program, also known as the Nichols' "A to B & Beyond" program, allows students to complete their third year of study at MWCC at MWCC prices before transferring to Nichols for a bachelor's degree. To make an appointment, contact Limari Rivera at MWCC, 978-630-9197 or Nora LuQuer at Nichols, 800-243-3844.


Another Opening, Another Show, an exhibit exploring the 35-year history of Theatre at the Mount, is on display 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.


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: Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing: April 11, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Devens campus; 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 A.S. Nursing: April 4, 5 to 6 p.m., Devens campus, room 124; Practical Nursing Certificate: April 27, 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 interested in attending a Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing information session are asked to call Tami Morin at (978) 630-9578, TTY (978) 632-4916, or send an email to 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