May 9, 2011
In This Issue
Dedication of MWCC's Wind Turbines Ushers in New Era of Energy Sustainability
MWCC Announces 2011 Service Above Self Award Recipients
MWCC Student Trustee Among "29 Who Shine" at Massachusetts Colleges and Universities
Alpha Beta Gamma Business Honor Society Inducts New Members
MWCC Students Collectively Perform Over 15,000 Hours of Community Service
Local Officials Thanked for Mentoring Criminal Justice Interns
Business Students Prepare Strategic Plan for MWCC as Capstone Project
Psychology Students Raise Awareness About Suicide Prevention as Service Learning Project
MWCC Fitness and Wellness Center Gearing Up to Host Sprint Triathlons
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aDedication of MWCC's Wind Turbines Ushers in New Era of Energy Sustainability

Olver State and local officials joined
the MWCC 
community on April 27 to usher in a new era of energy sustainability during a ceremony to dedicate the the college's two new wind turbines.
Together, the turbines are expected to generate approximately 97 percent of the college's electricity demand, plus return an additional 30 percent of power back to the energy grid. The 1.65 MW turbines, when combined with existing solar and biomass renewable technologies, will enable the college to generate nearly all of its energy on site and achieve the distinction of near carbon neutrality for campus operations.
"This is a major day in the history of Mount Wachusett Community College," said President Daniel M. Asquino. "The wind project caps off a solid decade of renewable energy initiatives and conservation measures that to date have reduced the college's energy consumption nearly by half, and at a significant benefit to the environment, as well. With the addition of wind power, we enter a new era of sustainability."
President Asquino and the college community dedicated the Vestas V82 turbines in honor of Congressman John W. Olver for his support for funding through the U.S. Department of Energy, and to Edward R. Terceiro Jr., MWCC resident engineer and executive vice president emeritus, for his leadership on this project and other campus energy initiatives, and to both for their renewable energy vision. Congressman Olver immediately donned a turbine t-shirt created by students in the college's Computer Graphic Design Club, before addressing the audience.
"If our nation is going to move away from an energy economy based on petroleum and the burning of fossil fuels, and we must do this to slow climate change and save our planet, then we need to invest much more heavily in renewable sources of power. The wind initiative at Mount Wachusett Community College is a great program that will move us in the right direction on energy. I am proud to have been a part of it and am honored by this dedication. I do believe that expanding renewable energy is critical to our nation's economy, to our national security and to the health of future generations," he said.
"As a result of all the renewable energy work that the college has done, sustainability has become the mantra of the college and is now infused throughout the curriculum," Terceiro said. "Everyone has embraced the work that we're doing."
In addition to Congressman Olver, President Asquino and Mr. Terceiro, featured speakers at the ceremony included Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard K. Sullivan Jr., Division of Capital Asset Management Commissioner Carole Cornelison, State Senator Jennifer Flanagan, Gardner Mayor Mark P. Hawke, and MWCC Board of Trustees Vice Chair Tina M. Sbrega.
The dedication ceremony coincides with the fourth anniversary of Gov. Deval Patrick's 2007 executive order, "Leading by Example - Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings." The wind project is a collaboration between the college, and the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management, the Department of Energy Resources, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the Executive Office of Administration and Finance. The JK Scanlan Company, Inc. of Falmouth, Mass. served as general contractors, and numerous Massachusetts companies were involved in the construction.
Sullivan"There couldn't be a more fitting place to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Governor Patrick's executive order establishing the Leading by Example program," said Secretary Sullivan. "We have made great progress, but we certainly have made no greater progress than right here at Mount Wachusett. It's a vision and path that really began well over a decade ago when the college began to take energy reduction and energy efficiencies seriously. They have come as close as anyone to being a zero net energy user for the Commonwealth and across the country and that certainly needs to be celebrated."
Secretary Sullivan also noted that the governor's executive order and MWCC's wind project have been instrumental in creating jobs in Massachusetts. "In just over four years, we've seen a 65 percent increase in the number of jobs in the clean energy field. There are today over 11,000 individuals working in Massachusetts in clean energy. So the vision of the governor in terms of clean energy being the right thing for the environment and the right thing for energy use is also the right thing for the economy of Massachusetts. On behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration, I commend President Asquino and the rest of the college community for their pacesetting efforts."
The Division of Capital Asset Management played a key role in the wind project, as well as the biomass conversion and other campus building projects.
"Today DCAM has a great opportunity to celebrate a long and successful partnership with Mount Wachusett Community College," said Commissioner Cornelison. "This project has allowed DCAM to put in place two state-of-the-art wind turbines - an important innovation that brings both energy efficiency and sustainability to the campus, while also demonstrating the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to providing world class public higher education facilities," she said.
Pictured, above: Congressman John W. Olver, wearing a t-shirt created by Mount Wachusett Community College computer graphic design students, addresses the audience gathered for the April 27 dedication of the college's two new wind turbines, as MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino and Resident Engineer and Executive Vice President Edward R. Terceiro, Jr. look on.
Pictured, below: Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard K. Sullivan Jr. addresses the gathering at the turbine dedication ceremony. 

MWCC Announces 2011 Service Above Self Award Recipients

LepkowskiMount Wachusett Community College announces the outstanding community leaders selected to receive the 2011 Service Above Self Awards during the college's 46th Commencement on May 19. The community volunteers chosen for their commitment to serving others are Helen and Edward Lepkowski of Gardner, Gail Allen of Leominster and James Adams, also of Leominster.
The Service Above Self Awards recognize those who have made significant contributions to the 29 cities and towns that make up the college's service area.
"Volunteerism became a way of life for each of these individuals in childhood, when they recognized the importance of helping others in their neighborhoods," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "Throughout their lives, they have continued to serve others, and their generosity of spirit has enriched our region. We are very proud to honor them this year with Mount Wachusett Community College's Service Above Self Award."
The Lepkowskis, lifelong residents of Gardner who raised their two daughters in the city, have either been at the helm or part of a team implementing countless civic projects in Gardner and throughout the region for decades. They were among the activists who successfully rallied to establish kindergarten in the Gardner school system in the 1960s, remained influential and instrumental figures in the areas of secondary and post-secondary education in the region, and they continue to serve on numerous boards and committees that support a range of missions and causes.
"We're honored to receive this award," Mr. Lepkowski said. "We love our city and the Mount is a very special place to us."
Mrs. Lepkowski, a graduate of Gardner High School, received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in business education from Boston University, and also continued her studies at Fitchburg State University, the University of Rhode Island, and Rivier College in Nashua, N.H. She was among the first faculty members at Mount Wachusett Community College, teaching in the business division, and also taught for many years at Gardner High School.
Among numerous community service activities, she serves on the School Committee for Montachusett Technical Vocational School; the Montachusett Home Care Board; the Gardner AARP board and is a past president; treasurer of the Gardner Polish American Veterans, chair and treasurer of the GHS class reunion committee; and on the Gardner Summer Concerts committee. Previously, she served on the Council on Aging; the Boston University Women's Club of Worcester County; the Polish American Social League; the Gardner College Club; as founder of the Chair City Co-Op Kindergarten; as former director of the Massachusetts Business Educators Association; and as a Eucharistic minister at her parish, St. Joseph's Church.
"My mother always said 'Do what you can and do it the best you can.' " Mrs. Lepkowski said.
Mr. Lepkowski, a retired electrician and 55-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, is a veteran of the U.S. Army. His expertise and handiwork is evident throughout the city: he was in charge of assembling the landmark Gardner Chair at its present location on Elm Street and the reconstruction of Riverside Bridge, served as clerk of the works for the Monument Park community bandstand, and helped build the Ovila Case Playground, among many projects.
A member of MWCC's Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1990, Mr. Lepkowski currently serves as chairman of the Gardner Redevelopment Authority, on the AARP Board of Directors; the Polish American Veterans of Greater Gardner and as former state commander of the PAV of Massachusetts; the Knights of Columbus; and the Otter River Sportsmen's Club; on the parish council at St. Joseph's Church; and several other organizations. Previously, he served on the Gardner High School Building Committee; the Gardner Conservation Commission; the Mayor's Summer Celebration Committee; the Gardner 225th Anniversary Committee and the Montachusett Vocational Technical School Electrical Division advisory board.
In addition, he served as a delegate to several Democratic state conventions, on many local, state and federal campaign committees, and as a delegate for several state labor organizations.
Growing up in Fairfield County, Conn., Gail Allen recalls her parents' many acts of kindness to brighten the lives of children and families, and she incorporated these traits into her own approach to life.
"I grew up in the era of John F. Kennedy and I remember him saying, 'For of those to whom much is given, much is required,' " said Allen, an attorney in Leominster.
As a member of the Board of Trustees for HealthAlliance Hospital and a past chair, Allen has been recognized for her commitment to ensuring exceptional, accessible health care to all. In addition to her work at the hospital, Allen, a wife, mother, and grandmother of two, advocates for youth in the court system and for others in need of assistance. She recently was elected to the board of directors of IC Federal Credit Union, and has served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Massachusetts for many years.
A former special education teacher, Allen returned to college in the mid-1990s and graduated from the Massachusetts School of Law in 1997. She and her husband, Bob, became involved in community service while raising their two children in Leominster. The entire family became active volunteers at Theatre at the Mount, where Mrs. Allen has served as stage manager of more than 60 performances since the 1990s.
Among many activities, she also has volunteered with Our Father's House and Applewild School, both in Fitchburg, and the Leominster Council on Aging and the Leominster Multi-Service Center. "I believe it is a privilege and an honor to help others, and I am very grateful to receive this award," she said.
Jim AdamsJames Adams, vice president and relationship manager at Rollstone Bank & Trust, was raised in Leominster and also lived in Fitchburg for many years. His parents, Elsie and John "Dutch" Adams, were well known for their civic engagement, a virtue they instilled in their five children.
"They taught us to appreciate things and value life and be grateful for what you have, and to be grateful means sharing your gratefulness with others. If I can help somebody out, I help them out," Adams said.
Adams volunteers as president of the Nashua Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which serves approximately 3,000 youths in the region, and on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Massachusetts, which serves hundreds of children.
Adams is vice president of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, an active organization of more than 450 members serving the greater Devens area. He also serves on the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Committee. In addition, he is an active volunteer at St. Anthony of Padua Church, serving on the parish finance committee and coaching basketball in the parochial league.
Adams earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Plymouth State University, and holds several professional licenses. He and his wife, Beth, also an active volunteer in the community, are high school sweethearts and are raising four children in Leominster.
"It's very humbling to receive this award because you don't do these things to be recognized, but it is always nice to be recognized," he said.

MWCC Student Trustee Among "29 Who Shine" at Massachusetts Colleges and Universities

Christina LajoieTwenty-nine outstanding 2011 graduates of Massachusetts community colleges, state universities and the University of Massachusetts will be honored for academic achievement and their contributions to the Commonwealth during a Statehouse ceremony on May 12 sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.


MWCC Student Trustee Christina Lajoie, an Early Childhood Education major, will be among those honored during the "29 Who Shine" celebration, which will recognize a graduate from each of the state's public higher education institutions.


"Each one of these student is a success story in her or his own right and as a group they remind us of the power of public higher education to change lives," said Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville. "Their achievements affirm the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to supporting and investing in our public colleges and universities."


Honorees are chosen for this award based on their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service.


Noting that Massachusetts public college and university graduates will form the bulk of the state's future workforce, Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland said the students have already contributed to the state's civic well-being by serving their communities and preparing to work in high-need areas of the Massachusetts economy.


"Individually and collectively, these students have proven themselves and shown that they will make significant contributions to our state's future," Commissioner Freeland said. "They've studied hard to prepare for productive careers, but they've also made time to engage in the civic life of their communities, and Massachusetts is better off because of these efforts." 


As a group, the honorees range in age from 17 to 52 and hail from each of the state's 29 public higher education campuses, which are located in 25 cities and towns across Massachusetts. Each student was nominated for the award by faculty and staff at the individual campuses. In addition to the awards received at the ceremony, the students will be honored with donated full-page and half-page advertisements appearing in most daily newspapers across the state.


A student leader on campus at MWCC, Lajoie has served as Student Trustee this academic year, as president of the Early Childhood Education Club, and participated in many civic engagement activities, while maintaining a 3.72 grade point average. 


As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, Lajoie strongly believes in supporting her community through her daily activities and interactions. She buys local whenever possible, volunteers in the region at least weekly in one capacity or another, including in her son's school. She plans to transfer to Fitchburg State University this fall to pursue a bachelor's degree in special education, and within the next few years, anticipates she will be teaching young children of Massachusetts and working on her master's degree. 


"Public education has put me on the path of a life I could only imagine," she said. "I have been inspired by the success stories of students that have preceded me, and feel support from the students working beside me. I feel confident that I will achieve everything I set out to accomplish, thanks to the foundation I received at MWCC." 


Lajoie has taken a leadership role in civic engagement, participating in numerous endeavors including Habitat for Humanity projects, the Student Government Association's annual food drives, Alternative Spring Break, Reading Across America, National Week of the Young Child, care packages for troops serving overseas;  registering voters, and raising funds for Youth Build Boston. In 2010, she received MWCC'S Service Learning Award for her engagement.    


Lajoie has received honors and recognition in academic achievement through the Dean's List and President's List, as well as the Visions Program's Initiative & Pride award in 2010.  She also is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges. 


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 Alpha Beta Gamma Business Honor Society Inducts New Members

Alpha Beta GammaThirty nine students were inducted into Mount Wachusett Community College's Chi Gamma Chapter of Alpha Beta Gamma, an international business honor society, during the 21st annual induction ceremony on April 29 at the college.
To be eligible for membership, students must be enrolled in a business curriculum and have completed 15 academic credit hours in a specific degree program. At MWCC, the programs are Business Administration, Paralegal Studies, Computer Information Systems, Computer Graphic Design, and Medical Assisting. In addition, students must demonstrate academic excellence by attaining a grade point average of 3.0 or above.
The new members are: Kaleigh Aldrich, Karen Bagshaw, Dennis Bernard, Cheryl Betterini, David Bonilla, Donna Bouchard, Stephanie Bouvier, Jeremy Bowers, Kara Bradbury, James Carey, Jocelyn Carey, Theodora Champa, Nathan Chatigny, Domenic Dawson, Adam Dewar, Deborah Carle Fnine, Andrea Gendron, Amelia Gentry, LeeRoy George Jr., Denise Goodhue, Karl Hakkarainen, Cecilia Hallquist, Jessica Harding, Olgert Hasko, Matthew Hatcher, Jessica Hood, Brenda Garcia Jones, Cynthia Knox, Chad Lehtinen, Tammi Lloyd, Audrey MacLean, James Morrison Jr., Leah Mullin, Owen Reardon, Cheryl Seymour, Songteng Shi, Leah Smith, Betty Ann Svach and Angela Rose Tarr.
Amy Doucette, chapter president, and Professor Linda Bolduc, chapter advisor, addressed the inductees and their guests. Executive Vice President Ann McDonald and Vice President of Academic Affairs Melissa Fama congratulated the inductees on their achievement. Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke was the featured speaker.
The mayor recalled his experience as a student at MWCC. "I knew I could do better and be better so I came to the Mount. Coming to the Mount was one of the best decisions I made," he said. Since then, he earned a bachelor's degree from UMass, Amherst and an MBA from Anna Maria College.
Inducted as an honorary member into the society in 2009, Hawke advised the incoming members to get involved. "I was able to make numerous contacts by getting involved," he said. Hawke also encouraged students to buy local. "It's the local businesses that support our Little League teams, schools, colleges and more."
A slideshow depicting the honor society's involvement on campus and in the community was also featured. The Chi Gamma chapter has been active in volunteer projects including activities to benefit NEADS, a Princeton-based service assistance dog organization; the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center; the House of Peace and Education in Gardner; local food pantries; military troops serving overseas; and the national Alzheimer's Association.
Several area businesses and organizations that assisted the club with its initiatives throughout the academic year were recognized. In addition, recognition awards were presented to Rachel Andler of Montachusett Veteran Outreach Center and Scott Cordeiro, owner of City Barber. Professor Bolduc was recognized for her commitment to serving as club advisor for many years, and Professors John Reilly and Michael Greenwood were also recognized for their support of students.

- Kim Anderson


Pictured: Among those attending the Alpha Beta Gama induction ceremony and dinner were, from left: Professor John Reilly; Alpha Beta Gamma officers Kevin Finch, vice president; Amelia Gentry, treasurer; Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke, guest speaker, MWCC Trustee and alumnus, and honorary member of the honor society; Amy Doucette, club president; Amada White, secretary, and Professor Linda Bolduc, advisor. 


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 MWCC Students Collectively Perform Over 15,000 Hours of Community Service

Service Learning CelebrationCollectively, MWCC students completed over 15,000 hours of service to the community through service learning projects this academic year, which carries a value to the community of over $300,000. Students were recognized during the annual Service Learning Celebration on May 5 in the South Café.


From participating in Habitat for Humanity, raising funds for the Make A Wish Foundation or lobbying at the Statehouse, MWCC students were extremely busy this year serving others.


During the luncheon, Fagan Forhan, director of Experiential Learning Opportunties and Civic Engagement, and Dr. Melissa Fama, vice president of Academic Affairs thanked the students for their service to the community, adding that it is needed more than ever.


Sponsored by the Division of Academic Affairs, the luncheon recognized hundreds of students for donating their time and talent. Students completing 40 hours or more of service were presented with medallions and students who completed 20 hours of service received a service learning pin.


Jerica Alliy, an Early Childhood Education major, received the Service Learning Student Award for her outstanding endeavors over the past year. She was nominated based on her efforts with the Early Childhood Education club to plan and host the 5th Annual Week of the Young Child Art Show and will be awarded a scholarship during the annual Evening of Excellence from the MWCC Foundation.


Nursing Professor Raeann LeBlanc was recognized with the Service Learning Faculty Award for her community outreach initiatives with students.


ECE Associate Professor Maureen Provost and Associate Professor of Art Tom Matsuda spoke about the many ways in which their students have been serving the community. Provost reflected on the over 500 hours of service learning this spring her early childhood education and elementary education students completed.


Matsuda talked about MWCC art students serving the community through community mural projects in the city of Gardner, and how they are currently working on murals at the Spanish American Center in Leominster and the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center in Fitchburg.


During the ceremony, the Future Philanthropists Project, run through MWCC's Center for Democracy and Humanity, presented grants to two community organizations for their initiatives serving youth. Seeds of Solidarity of Orange, which sponsors the annual Garlic and Arts Festival, was awarded $6,000 and the Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network was awarded $4,000. The funding was provided by the Highland Street Foundation of Newton, Mass. through The Volunteer Family, to be awarded to nonprofits in the region. The Future Philanthropist Project was run this year as a non-credit service learning option for MWCC students and as professional development training for AmeriCorps Job Ready members.


- Kim Anderson


Pictured: Early Childhood Education major Jerica Alliy, recipient of the 2011 Student Service Learning Award, with Associate Professor Maureen Provost at the Service Learning Celebration. 


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Local Officials Thanked for Mentoring Criminal Justice Interns

Police and criminal justice officials from throughout the region provided internship opportunities for a number of MWCC Criminal Justice majors during the spring semester.


To thank them for providing real-life, career experiences for the students, department chair Reed Hillman presented certificates of appreciation during an end of semester celebration May 4 on the Gardner campus.


The students completed a minimum of 120 hours over the 15-week semester. Nine different organizations provided internship opportunities for the program, including the Gardner, Athol, Westminster, Paxton, Ashburnham, Shirley, and Fitchburg police departments, Lajoie Investigations, Inc., and the Worcester County Sheriff's Office. 


The participating students and their internship sites were: Heather Swick, with Lajoie Investigations, Inc.; Felicia Feeley, with the Westminster Police Department; Karmen Forrester and Chris Kinzer, with the Gardner Police Department; Brittani Shorey, with the Worcester County Sheriff's Office; Ethan Tyler and Adam Tyler, both with the Ashburnham Police Department; Alexander Griffin, with the Paxton Police Department; Ryan Matthews, with the Athol Police Department; Trevor Stacy, with the Shirley Police Department; and Brittany Paglia, with the Fitchburg Police Department.   


Pictured, front row, left to right: Athol Police Chief Timothy Anderson; Ashburnham Police Chief Loring Barrett, an MWCC alumnus; Adam Tyler; Westminster Chief Salvatore Albert, MWCC alumnus and advisory board member; Trevor Stacy; Gardner Police Department Deputy Chief Rock Barrieau; Back row, left to right: Heather Swick; Kristie Champagne of Lajoie Investigations; Felicia Feeley; Karmen Forrester; Brittani Shorey; Ethan Tyler; Alexander Griffin; Assistant Professor Reed Hilllman. Participating officials not pictured include: Sgt. Glenn Fossa, Fitchburg; Paxton Chief Robert Desrosiers; Shirley Chief Gregory Massak; and Sheriff Lew Evangelidis. 


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Business Students Prepare Strategic Plan for MWCC as Capstone Project

Spring 2011 Business Capstone classStudents enrolled in Professor Michael Greenwood's business capstone course, "Strategic Management," conducted an analysis of MWCC this semester as their capstone project and presented their findings and recommendations on May 6.

In recent years, the course has provided students with the opportunity to apply strategic management tools to actual local companies and organizations, rather than textbook case studies alone, further enhancing the experience and providing the organizations with meaningful analysis. In addition to MWCC, past organizations have included Clinton-based Nypro, Inc., Bemis Associates of Shirley, and Workers Credit Union.

Business Administration major Kara Bradbury served as lead project manager, with students Brian Colcord, Richard Greene, Anders Rasmuson and Cory Walker serving as project managers for this semester's team of 19 students. The students spent hundreds of work hours outside the class developing the project, with most of the project completed during the final six weeks of the semester.

"I have learned much about my own potential and what I am capable of when I fully dedicate my time and attention to a project," Bradbury stated. "I have learned the value of being part of a strong team; having team members who will step up to the plate when needed and who will encourage and support one another."

"This class has provided me with valuable experiences not only in the workplace, but in my personal life as well," noted Colcord. "The skills and tools we have all come to understand will stay with us for the remainder of our professional careers."

Pictured: front row: Kara Bradbury, Justine Thibeault, Jessica Colleton, Stephanie Dube; back row: Sagar Patel, Melanie Hoffman, Anders Rasmuson, Kristina LoPilato, Zachary Sultan, Richard Greene, Brian Colcord, Anthony Spuria, Antonio DesRoche, Tyler Gray, Matthew Hull, Jeff Oliva, and Dr. Michael Greenwood. Class members not pictured: Sonja Olson, Brian Tourigny and Cory Walker.

Psychology Students Raise Awareness About Suicide Prevention as Service Learning Project

Every minute, a person attempts suicide. To educate others about 11th leading cause of death in the U.S., MWCC psychology students sponsored a Suicide Prevention Awareness Day on April 28 at the Gardner campus. The event was organized as a service learning project in Professor Sheila Murphy's Abnormal Psychology course.


The presentation featured representatives from MWCC's Counseling and Health Services, along with area agencies including North Central Human Services, LUK Crisis, the Samaritans, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program. Students created displays to present information about suicide, and some shared personal stories of loss of loved ones. Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), a suicide recognition and intervention workshop, and an interpretive modern dance performance by student Emily Shaffer also took place.


"We can't ignore suicide - ignoring it does not make it go away. Our goal is to educate people to save lives," Murphy said. "It's one of those taboos, but it needs to be addressed," said class member Bill Rheault.


Participating students included: Jessica A. S. Marshall, Emma Derr, Adrianne Fratturelli, Heather Young, Patricia Frazier, William Rheault, Martiza Guzman, Katie Lyons, Josh Melanson, Emily Shaffer and Meagan Roraback.


- Kim Anderson


Pictured: Psychology student Emily Shaffer and Professor Sheila Murphy.


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MWCC Fitness and Wellness Center Gearing Up to Host Sprint Triathlons

Fitness & Wellness Center Sprint TriathlonIn response to the popularity of sprint triathlons among athletes of all ability levels, MWCC's Fitness and Wellness Center is initiating the MWCC Multi Sport Team 2011 Sprint Triathlon Series. The center will host three different sprint triathlons this year with medals awarded by age group from age 15 and up. Individuals of all ability levels, including beginners and relay teams, are invited to participate in these races, which are sanctioned by USA Triathlon.


A triathlon is a multi-sport event in which participants complete three separate events in sequence. Sprint distance races are currently the fastest growing triathlon race because the contests require less training and experience. Often beginners "test the water" by participating on a relay team of two to three members, in which one person swims, one person bikes and one person runs. Medals will be awarded to the relay teams in several categories including: all male, all female, mixed, firefighter teams, EMS teams, police teams, hospital teams, local business teams, MWCC teams, and school teams of staff and/or students.


The series kicks off with the MWCC Spring Sprint Triathlon on May 22, at MWCC's Gardner campus. The race will consist of a 300-yard pool swim, a 15-mile bike ride and a four-mile run with transitions taking place between each leg.


The second race will be the MWCC Summer Sprint Triathlon on July 3, which will be held at the Polish American Citizens Club at 171 Kendall Pond Road West in Gardner. This event will include a half-mile lake swim, a 14-mile bike ride and a four-mile run.


The third event is the Fall Backwards Sprint Triathlon on October 23, which will be held at MWCC. The events of this race will be completed in reverse order. Participants will do a four-mile run first, followed by a 15-mile bike ride and then a 300-yard pool swim. Each race in the series will be professionally timed. All racers will wear an ankle bracelet with a micro chip to accurately record their time.


The center recently established its Multi Sport Team for facility members. In addition to hosting multi-sport events, the team has an in-house sprint triathlon training program for beginners and offers team members numerous training options, including group runs, group cycling and group swimming, swim clinics and group personal training. Team members are trained by Nancy Williams, assistant director of the Fitness and Welnness Center and a certified trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and swim coach David Graham, the center's aquatics director.


The MWCC Multi Sport Team currently has more than 50 members made up of adults of all ability levels who train for racing in triathlons, duathlons, marathons, road races, bike races, open water swims and other similar multi-sport events. The team is led by captains Robin Sandos of Gardner and Bruce Folsom of Ashby.


Sandos, a long-time member of the Fitness and Wellness Center, completed a half Ironman triathlon in North Carolina on May 7, finishing first in her age group and fourth overall for all women, and qualified for nationals. She also is currently ranked third in the nation for the one-mile freestyle swim in the 30 to 34 age group for master female swimmers. A seasoned triathlete who began completing at age 9, she was nationally ranked by age 15. Sandos has trained at the National Junior Olympic Triathlon Training Camp and she competed in the 1997, 1998 and 1999 World Duathlon Championships in Italy, Germany and Spain. In 2010, she competed in 10 triathlons and finished in the top three in her age group in every one.

Bruce Folsom is a certified group ride instructor at the Fitness and Wellness Center and an accomplished triathlete as well. Folsom is a registered nurse with extensive experience working in rehabilitation. He was instrumental in creating the team's off-season, two-hour indoor group cycling classes.


"Robin and Bruce are not only talented athletes, but they are excellent advisors and mentors who choose to make themselves available for training advice and questions. Our team is made up of seasoned competitors as well as beginners. We have a team member who recently ran a mile for the first time. That's what makes this group so exceptional," Williams said.


For more information on the Multi Sport Team or to register for the any of the MWCC Sprint Triathlon Series races, go to or call 978-630-9212.


Pictured: Gearing up for the MWCC Sprint Triathlon Series are, from left, Fitness & Wellness Center Assistant Director Nancy Williams, Multi Sport Team co-captains Robin Sandos and Bruce Folsom, and Swim Coach and Aquatics Director David Graham.


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Upcoming Events

Love fresh vegetables but short on space? Consider growing your own at MWCC's Community Garden Applications are now being accepted for 30 plots, located adjacent to the Fitness & Wellness Center. Now entering its third growing season, the Community Garden is sponsored this year by W.E. Aubuchon Co., Inc. and MWCC. The cost to participate is $20 and includes an orientation session and a workshop on organic gardening. To apply for a plot, go to or call 978-630-9262 to request an application form.
The Pathways Early College Innovation School at MWCC, which enables high school juniors to enroll full-time in college-level courses to simultaneously earn their high school diploma and an associate degree, is hosting a series of information sessions for prospective applicants. Twenty seats are available for the academic year beginning Sept. 6. Information sessions will take place on Tuesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. on May 10, 17, 24 and 31 and June 7 and 14; and on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. on May 11, 18, and 25, June 1, 8, and 15. All sessions will take place at the Gardner campus, 444 Green Street, in the Murphy Conference Room. To register for an information session, call 978-630-9248.
The 40th Annual Exhibition of Art by MWCC students will be on display through May 19 in the East Wing Gallery. To purchase a piece of artwork or to contact a student to commission a work, contact Professor John Pacheco at


The academic achievements of MWCC students will be celebrated Thursday, May 12 during the
annual Evening of Excellence. The event will take place at the Four Points by Sheraton, Leominster and will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and an awards ceremony. Students will be honored with merit and scholarship awards during this special ceremony. For more information, contact Jackie Suhoski at 978-630-9142.
MWCC's Dental Hygiene Pinning Ceremony will take place Friday, May 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center. Dr. Esther Wilkins, author and renowned periodontist and dental hygienist, is the keynote speaker. Graduates will be pinned and freshmen will recite the Dental Hygiene Oath.
MWCC's 46th Commencement will take place Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center. Author Ben Coes will deliver the commencement address. Denise Kindschi Gosselin and Richard K. Elmer will be recognized as the Alumni of the Year and Service Above Self Awards will be presented to Helen and Edward Lepkowski, Gail Allen and James Adams. Honorary degrees will be presented to Mr. Coes and former state Representative Raymond M. LaFontaine. Members of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society will conduct the 8th annual "Project Graduation" food drive. All graduates and their guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the rehearsal or ceremony, which will be donated this year to the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center in Gardner.
MWCC's 38th Annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony will take place Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center. Students will be welcomed into the profession by having the program's nursing pin fastened to their lapels by a fellow nurse, a family member, a friend, an alumnus of the program, or a faculty member.
MWCC, in association with the Broadcasting and Electronic Media program and Phi Theta Kappa, is pleased to once again offer Commencement DVDs. This professional quality, edited DVD of MWCC's 2010 graduation ceremony will be available at a cost of $15 each. This low cost includes shipping and handling. Half of the profits from the DVD sales will go to MWCC's Phi Delta Chapter of the PTK Honor Society. PTK students will donate the other 50 percent of profits directly to the Montachusett Veteran Outreach Center in Gardner. To order a DVD, contact Sheila Murphy, PTK advisor, at


Representatives from local biomanufacturing companies and employment agencies will be on hand to discuss career opportunities and conduct interviews during MWCC's Biotechnology Career Fair on Thursday, June 2. The fair will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. at the college's Devens campus, One Jackson Place, 27 Jackson Road. Participating organizations include New England Peptide, Integrated Process Technologies, Masy Systems, Parenteral Drug Association, Aerotek, Joule Scientific, Manpower, TTE Laboratories, North Central Career Center, STEM Power and more. Job seekers are invited to meet with industry representatives to learn about careers and opportunities. Interviews must be pre-scheduled in order to be conducted during the fair. Alumni are also invited to attend to network and share success stories and advice. To register or for more information, contact Tami Morin at or call 978-630-9578.


MWCC is accepting registrations for Summer Programs for Kids & Teens. Families are encouraged to reserve seats early to secure a spot in popular summer programs including drama, art, computers and athletics. Sports and fitness camps offered through the MWCC Fitness & Wellness Center include basketball, soccer, baseball, field hockey, tennis, fit camp, and more. Course descriptions and registration forms can be found online at or by calling 978-630-9124.


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.
MWCC is offering Information Sessions on a number of academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Clinical Laboratory Science: May 24, 4 to 5 p.m., Heywood Hospital; Dental Hygiene: May 18, 2 to 3 p.m., Burbank campus, room 204; A.S. Nursing: May 19, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner campus, room 204; and Practical Nursing Certificate: May 17, 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 an information session are asked to call the Enrollment Center at 978-630-9284 (TTY 978-632-4916), or send an email to

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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