July 26, 2011

In This Issue
MWCC and GM Launch New Auto Tech Program
MWCC's Prius Adorned with Energy-Themed, Student-Designed Car Wrap
MWCC Expanding Opportunities in the Dental Field
Summer Fun Through MWCC's Summer UP!
Academic & Career Opportunities Highlighted at Upcoming Open Houses
Theatre at the Mount Nominated for 15 DASH Awards
Upcoming Events
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topMWCC & GM Launch New Auto Tech Program

MWCC GM partnershipGeneral Motors, one of the world's largest automotive manufacturers, and Mount Wachusett Community College are launching a new automotive technology degree program this fall that will prepare students to become GM certified technicians.

In the two-year GM Automotive Service Educational Program (GM ASEP), students will earn an associate degree through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience through paid co-op training at ACDelco certified repair centers or GM dealerships. Students will receive advanced automotive technical training in combination with a strong academic foundation in math, electronics and analytical skills.

"We are proud to partner with General Motors in this academic and career-focused initiative," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "It's a great opportunity for students in this region to receive industry training, and it's a great opportunity for affiliated businesses to receive qualified, trained employees."

The GM ASEP program, initiated in 1979, is now implemented at more than 60 colleges and universities across the country. The program represents a long-term commitment that General Motors has made to help dealers recruit and train motivated and qualified entry-level technicians to work on the corporation's line of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles.

Partner colleges receive vehicles, components, tools, and training materials, as well as expertise from GM trained instructors and other support services. Local dealerships and ACDelco Total Service Support (TSS) centers that sponsor the student interns receive the opportunity train their own technicians, reduce recruitment costs over the long term, retain technicians and strengthen shop involvement in the community.

"We are very excited that Mount Wachusett Community College has committed to partnering with us in expanding our training network to support our GM dealers and ACDelco TSS shops," said Tony Levens, the GM ASEP Training Center manager. "This partnership, like the 93 other ASEP schools globally, helps demonstrate GM's commitment to education in a manner which provides a winning solution for everyone involved."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that job opportunities for automotive technicians will grow approximately five percent through 2018. In addition to openings expected from growth in the industry, many job openings will be created to replace retiring technicians. Job opportunities are expected to be very good for those who complete postsecondary automotive training programs and who earn Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, according to the BLS.

"The program is unique because it's GM-specific and we have all the backing of General Motors, including new pieces of equipment," said MWCC Automotive Technology Professor Peter Kaufmann. MWCC recently received two of four GM vehicles that will be used in the training program, a 2009 Chevrolet HHR and a 2011 Buick Regal.

In addition to the GM ASEP program, MWCC will continue offering its traditional automotive technology associate degree and certificate programs.

An information session will take place at the Gardner campus on Wednesday, Aug. 3 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Murphy Conference Room. Financial assistance is available to students who qualify. For more information about enrolling in the GM ASEP program, contact MWCC's admissions office at 978-630-9110 or

Pictured: Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel M. Asquino and Automotive Technology Professor Peter Kaufmann with two GM vehicles the college received for the new GM ASEP academic program at MWCC.

MWCC's Prius Adorned with Energy-Themed, Student-Designed Car Wrap  

Zak Stoddard and MWCC's PriusMWCC's 2008 Toyota Prius is not only energy efficient, it's now an eye-catching billboard on wheels.


This month, the stark white Prius was adorned with a colorful, energy-themed car wrap created by Zak Stoddard, a Computer Graphic Design-Print major at MWCC. Stoddard's design depicts an electrical plug blooming among flowers, text promoting the college's Energy Management and Computer Graphic Design programs, and phrases encouraging onlookers to "Go Green" and "Charge Up Your Career."


Sonya Shelton, an adjunct instructor in the Computer Graphic Design program, initially thought up the idea of a car wrap to simultaneously promote the college's green programs and the work of CGD students. A college team, including representatives from Marketing & Communications, Facilities Management and the CGD and Energy Management programs, met to explore the idea.


The team decided that wrapping the college's hybrid Prius, used to deliver mail between campuses and for employee travel purposes, was a great opportunity to spread the word about the college's academic programs.The wrap, installed by D&G Custom Graphics of Fitchburg, was funded by MWCC Foundation, Inc. through a grant the foundation received from an anonymous donor to promote the new Energy Management program.


Shelton and CGD Chair Professor Leslie Cullen were excited to use the car wrap as a learning opportunity and as a way to showcase students' work. Students in Cullen's capstone CGD course, Portfolio Preparation, had the opportunity to submit designs for the car wrap.  


"This project was something unique and quite different than anything our students have done in the past," Cullen said.


The class worked closely with D&G graphics, the same company that applied MWCC's logo and initials to the college's two wind turbines, to obtain a full-size template for the car. Students were then asked to create various layout sketches from the template provided, then created drafts of their ideas in full scale on the template. The project was presented as a real world project from start to finish. The client, David Schmidt, chair of the Energy Management department, came to the class to discuss the project parameters and provide information on the concept of energy management and what the curriculum entails at MWCC, Cullen said.


The Marketing & Communications department provided guidelines for elements to include on the car, such as the college logo, and students researched car wraps, energy management concepts and green solutions for inspiration for their graphics. Ultimately, a variety of creative, attractive submissions were narrowed down to a handful of finalists, with Stoddard's winning submission selected by the college's Executive Council.  


"All the students who volunteered to design a car wrap should be commended for their workmanship and effort," Cullen said. "The final design was chosen by the Executive Council, and I personally couldn't be more proud of Zak Stoddard and his design. Zak has been a consummate professional throughout the entire project, from the initial concept to working closely with D&G Graphics to make sure production went smoothly. Zak deserves a world of credit for his work," she said.


"I look forward to his future successes and am thrilled to have his work showcased and the CGD department recognized every day when the Prius hits the road. Also, I couldn't be more excited about what was learned along the way. The educational value of this type of project surpasses so much of what we could have taught from a book or in the classroom alone," Cullen said.


Stoddard said implementing the project from start to finish provided an invaluable learning experience.


"It was a great opportunity for me because of the people I got to meet at the college through this process," Stoddard said. "I was glad to have this opportunity because it allowed me to gain experience in the field I plan to go into. When I saw this car finished, it made me very proud."


Pictured: Computer Graphic Design student Zak Stoddard with MWCC's Toyota Prius now decorated with the car wrap he designed. 



MWCC Expanding Opportunities in the Dental Field

MWCC Dental Hygiene programMount Wachusett Community College is expanding opportunities for students interested in pursuing or advancing careers in the dental field.

"We are delighted to enhance opportunities for students interested in careers in the field of dental care," said Dr. Daniel M. Asquino, president of MWCC. "Our new dental assisting certificate program and partnerships with Mount Ida College and Montachusett Regional Technical Vocational School will open doors for new students, as well as graduates of our dental hygiene degree program. Since its inception in 2005, the dental hygiene program has gained a reputation of providing an exceptional education, as demonstrated by a 100 percent pass rate on the written National Board examination for licensure."

MWCC is launching a new 15-month certificate program in dental assisting for students interested in entering the field. The new part-time, evening credit program at the Fitchburg campus will prepare students for dental assisting board certification and for careers assisting dentists and other technicians, including dental hygienists, dental therapists and dental technicians. Dental assistants are responsible for patient care as well as office and laboratory duties, including preparing patients for treatment, sterilizing and organizing instruments, passing instruments during a procedure, and obtaining and checking dental records. Some credits can be applied toward the associate degree dental hygiene program, for students interested in continuing their academic studies at MWCC.

The college and Montachusett Regional Technical Vocational School have also formed a new transfer agreement that will enable graduates of Monty Tech's dental assisting program to earn up to 10 credits toward MWCC's certificate program.

In addition, a new "3 Plus 1" transfer program with Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts will provide graduates of MWCC's dental hygiene associate degree program with seamless transfer into a bachelor degree program as college seniors. Under this new transfer program, MWCC dental hygiene graduates interested in continuing their education can transfer their dental hygiene and general education credits into the Dental Hygiene Degree Completion
(DHDC) program at Mount Ida. Once in the bachelor degree program, students will pursue one of four concentrations with a mix of online and on campus options, including:  management; education; forensic science; or pre-professional. The program will prepare students for practice, graduate school or a career in education.

"It has been one of my long-term goals to have a four-year institution embrace MWCC Dental Hygiene students and recognize and accept the 84 credits they graduate with," said Anne Malkasian, director of MWCC's Dental Hygiene program.  "The idea that Mount Ida College, will accept all 84 credits speaks to the confidence in the quality of the dental hygiene curriculum."

"Mount Ida College is committed to student success at every level.  We are excited about this opportunity to engage Mount Wachusett students in baccalaureate education at Mount Ida College and welcome these professional students into our community of learners," said Dr. Lance Carluccio, president of Mount Ida College.

For more information about MWCC's dental hygiene and dental assisting programs, contact Anne Malkasian at 978-630-9367 or For more information about Mount Ida, visit

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Summer Fun Through MWCC's Summer UP!

Summer UP at Parkhill ParkHundreds of area high school, middle school and elementary school students are having fun in the sun through the Summer UP program administered by Mount Wachusett Community College's Division of Access & Transition.
Now in its seventh year, Summer UP is providing 120 of area high school and middle school students with jobs as camp counselors at 10 park sites in Leominster, Fitchburg, and Gardner. The counselors, who earn a stipend, work with MWCC staff to provide supervised recreation activities for area school children of all ages, who attend the free activities. The four-week program is designed to provide supervised activities that include special field trips for the counselors, as well as meaningful community service projects.
"Being able to participate in Summer Up is a great experience," said Leominster High School student Feven Merid, one of the program's counselors at the Spanish American Center. "It is probably one of the only jobs where you get paid to have fun with kids. Aside from the fun, as a staff member I've built a lot of skills interacting with the kids. Communication and active listening are two skills to name a few. I always have a great time with the kids and it feels great to be a role model. Even though I leave work exhausted, I know that everyone enjoys the Summer UP Program and that's what matters."
Charlie Negron, a Sky View Middle School student who is also working as a camp counselor at the Spanish American Center, said he's thankful for the job.  "It's a great experience for me because I get to work with kids and other staff. This is my first job and I am happy that it is. I am gaining new employment skills, such as working with people and communication. I'm learning new stuff everyday and that is why I am thankful to have been hired by Summer UP!"

This year, Summer UP is also hosting 10 Commonwealth Corps members through the Massachusetts Service Alliance. In addition to the Massachusetts Service Alliance grant, the program is supported through a number of community businesses and organizations. This year's community sponsors to date include: Gardner Rotary Club, Workers' Credit Union, Acme Waterproofing Company, Inc., R.C. Rheault Construction Division of Oxford Deleading, Inc., The Gardner News, the Gardner Ale House, Girouard Fence Company, Project Bread Child Nutrition Outreach Program, Gardner Police Relief Association, Advanced Glass & Mirror, Inc., Catherine Downing, P.C., M&I Carpet Cleaners & Upholstery and James A. Cruickshank.

"We feel it is important to give back to the community and this is a terrific program that truly benefits our youth," said Darryl Richardson, assistant vice president and branch manager at Workers' Credit Union's Fitchburg branch, who recently stopped by the Parkhill Park site to announce a $2,500 donation to the program.

Park sites include: Coolidge, Crocker, Green Street, Goodrich, Elm Street/Longsjo and Parkhill in Fitchburg, as well as Riverside and the Spanish American Center in Leominster and Olde English Village and Jackson Street in Gardner.

"This is my first year, and I really like it," said Jack Reynolds, a sophomore at Fitchburg High and a counselor at Parkhill. "The kids have a blast and it's something fun and active for them to do."

Maria Valdez, a senior at Fitchburg High, said she appreciated the employment opportunity during a time where jobs are scarce, particularly for teens. "The economy is bad, so this is a great opportunity. You're making money, but also having a great time."

Cheyanne Hall Rivera, a freshman at Monty Tech, participated in Summer UP as a child and is now returning for her second year as a counselor. "I came back because the kids love me, and I like working with the kids."

Pictured: MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino and Darryl Richardson of Workers' Credit Union were recently presented with Summer UP T-shirts from student participants.

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Academic & Career Opportunities Highlighted at Upcoming Open Houses  

MWCC Devens campus

MWCC Devens campus

MWCC will highlight degree and career opportunities in a wide range of fields, as well as support services for student veterans, financial aid, transfer programs, student life, child care assistance and more during three upcoming open houses.

Career opportunities in biotechnology, energy management and health sciences will be highlighted during an open house Tuesday, Aug. 9 at MWCC's Devens Campus, One Jackson Place, 27 Jackson Road. The open house will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature interactive demonstrations and experiments. The event will also include a raffle for a free, four-credit lab course, giveaways and refreshments.

David Schmidt, chair of MWCC's Energy Management department, will demonstrate tools and ideas for reducing energy consumption in homes and businesses. He also will speak about the various career opportunities in sustainable energy management. Dr. Lara Dowland, chair of the biotechnology department, will discuss career opportunities and education in biotechnology. She'll also lead a demonstration of the extraction of plant DNA from strawberries to provide a fun, hands-on exercise to introduce some of the scientific principles used in the field.

MWCC Leominster campus

MWCC Leominster campus

Representatives from MWCC's health science programs will discuss programs that are offered at the Devens campus, including Physical Therapist Assistant, the LPN Bridge to RN program, certified nurse aide, medical office certificate and medical billing and coding. For more information or to register, call 978-630-9569.

Open houses at the college's Leominster and Gardner campus will feature a range of information for prospective students and newly enrolled students, as well as give-aways and refreshments.

An open house will take place Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Leominster campus, 100 Erdman Way. For more information or to register for this event, call 978-630-9812.

A third open house will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Gardner campus, 444 Green Street. For more information or to register, call 978-630-9566.

For more information or to register for any event, prospective students also may contact the admissions office at

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Theatre at the Mount Nominated for 15 DASH Awards

Theatre at the Mount
Theatre at the Mount's Oct. 2010 production of Leading Ladies.
The Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres recently announced the nominees for the 2010 - 2011 "DASH" Awards (Distinguished Achievement and Special Honors). Of the 122-plus productions entered in the competition, MWCC's Theatre at the Mount received nominations in 15 categories and also received a special "Consultant's Choice Award."

TAM's production of Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings, was nominated for Best Stage Management (musical) - Gail Allen; Best Props Coordination (musical) - Peter Landry; Best Actor (musical) - David Allen Prescott; Best Ensemble Performance in a Musical; Best Director (musical) - Rob Houle; and Best Production (musical).

The theatre's production of The Wiz garnered a Best Youth Actor nomination for Danny Rodriguez.

Theatre at the Mount and Technical Director Jeff Boisseau earned nominations for Best Sound Design (musical) for The Drowsy Chaperone; Best Set Dressing (play) for Leading Ladies; Best Lighting Design (musical) for Silver Bells; and Best Sound Design for Silver Bells. The production of Silver Bells also was nominated for Best Director - Chris Casello; Best Music Director, Katrina Caouette; Best Choreography - Chris Casello; and Best Specialty Ensemble (musical ) for the Wooden Soldier Dancers.

Silver Bells is also being recognized for a "Consultant's Choice Award" for "Conceptual Creativity" - Chris Casello.

Award winners will be announced at the "DASH" Awards Gala on August 27 at Cary Hall in Lexington Centre. Tickets for the event and a complete list of the nominees can be found at the EMACT website,

-Gail Steele


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Upcoming Events

MWCC's Summer Business Luncheon Training Series, sponsored by the Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development, continues with two upcoming sessions designed to provide key business strategies. "Selling the Way Your Customers Want to Buy" will take place July 29. John Chapin, speaker, trainer, and author of the award-winning "Sales Encyclopedia: the most comprehensive 'how to' guide on selling," will present the attributes leading to sales success and ways to integrate these strategies into sales efforts. "Process Improvement and LEAN Manufacturing" will take place Aug. 26. The LEAN process flow for operations will be emphasized to help participants learn how to better identify areas of improvement and steps to take to implement changes and measure effectiveness. The session will be led by James F. Leonard, a consultant who specializes in teaching the principles of Dr. W. Edwards Deming as a new system of management. The sessions take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in the North Café at MWCC's Gardner campus. The cost for either session is $10 when pre-registered or $13 at the door and includes a complimentary grilled lunch. Register by calling 978-630-9575 or email

MWCC Golf TournamentMount Wachusett Community College Foundation, Inc. will sponsor its 16th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit student scholarships on Tuesday, Aug. 16 at Wedgewood Pines Country Club in Stowe. The cost is $200 per person to play, which includes breakfast and dinner, or $40 to attend the dinner only. Registration and breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. The tournament will conclude with a social hour, awards dinner and silent auction from 3 to 6 p.m. Auction and corporate sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information or to register, call (978) 630-9387 or email

RentTheatre at the Mount continues its 2011 season with Rent in August. Based on Puccini's opera La Bahome, Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City. In 1996, Rent won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, taking home four, including best musical. Recommended for mature audiences only.  Performances are Aug. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. 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
MWCC, in association with the Broadcasting and Electronic Media program and Phi Theta Kappa, is pleased to once again offer Commencement DVDs. These professional quality, edited DVDs of MWCC's 2011 graduation ceremony are available for $15 each, which 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 remaining profits directly to the Montachusett Veteran Outreach Center in Gardner. To order a DVD, contact Sheila Murphy, PTK advisor, at
MWCC is accepting registrations for Summer Programs for Kids and 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.

MWCC is offering Information Sessions on a number of academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Automotive Tech General Motors Aug. 3, 5 to 6 p.m., Gardner campus, Murphy Conference Room; Clinical Laboratory Science: Aug. 23, 4 o 5 p.m., HealthAlliance Hospital, Leominster; A.S. Nursing: Aug. 16, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner campus, room 204; and Practical Nursing: Aug. 18, 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