Oct. 25, 2011
In This Issue
Chemistry Lab Dedicated in Memory of Professor Herman Gelbwasser
MWCC Hosts Massachusetts Student Life Conference; Top Award Presented to Trustee Caroline Horvitz
Area Youths Participate in Largest United Way Youth Venture Gathering in the Country
Recent Works by MWCC Alumna Janet Dupuis on Exhibit
Upcoming Events
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AnchorChemistry Lab Dedicated in Memory of Professor Herman Gelbwasser 

Gelbwasser Lab dedicationThe laboratory where Professor Herman Gelbwasser taught chemistry to MWCC students for decades was named in his honor during a dedication ceremony Oct. 20. MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino was joined by members of the Gelbwasser family, faculty, staff and students for the dedication of room 213. Professor Gelbwasser, who joined the college faculty in its early years when the campus was located on Elm Street and taught math and chemistry until his retirement in 2010, died Aug. 11 at his home on Cape Cod.

President Asquino said it is only fitting that the college would dedicate the chemistry lab in the professor's memory, since it was his home away from home. "This is something we just needed to do."

"The students truly admired him - we all did," said Dr. Melissa Fama, Vice President of Academic Affairs. Professor Dan Donovan also recalled his friend, noting that he was "extraordinarily dedicated" to his family and to his students. "He was a very, very classy guy."

Professor GelbwasserSeveral faculty members penned tributes for the ceremony. "Professor Gelbwasser was well liked for his calm demeanor, his willingness to assist students with understanding concepts, his easy-going nature and his patience. He was there for all his students both in mathematics and chemistry," Professor Ken Takvorian noted.

Professor Linda Bolduc described her colleague as "a touch of class," while Professor Bill Lefrancois called him "a man of gentle heart, full of kindness and compassion to all he knew - a professor's professor, a mentor's mentor," who "lived the teacher's oath."


Pictured: Top: MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino is joined by members of Professor Gelbwasser's family, Mark Payne, daughter Amy Payne, wife Bonnie Gelbwasser and son, Michael Gelbwasser, during the lab dedication; Bottom: Professor Gelbwasser.

MWCC Hosts Student Life Conference; Top Award Presented to Trustee Caroline Horvitz
CCSLA fall conferenceNearly 200 student leaders and student affairs representatives from Massachusetts' 15 community colleges attended the Community College Student Life Association's annual conference, hosted by MWCC on Oct. 13 - 14 at the Colonial Hotel in Gardner.


MWCC Student Trustee Caroline Horvitz received the Dean Sullivan Award, a top honor that is presented each year to a student leader within the Massachusetts community colleges in recognition of their commitment and achievement as a volunteer leader.
Ms. Horvitz, a Fitchburg resident and Liberal Arts & Sciences major, was elected by her peers to serve as Student Trustee on MWCC's Board of Trustees this year. She also serves as treasurer of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and as a Student Ambassador, is a member of MWCC's Honors Program, and served last year on the Student Government Association.

Born with cerebral palsy and deafness during a difficult delivery that claimed the life of her twin sister, Ms. Horvitz is fluent in five sign languages, including exact English, British, French, Greek and conversational American, has studied Latin, and knows a bit of conversational Arabic.

"She's an amazing mentor to our other student leaders," said Greg Clement, MWCC assistant dean of students and president of the CCSLA. "She's the one who motivates students to become involved and make a difference. She truly wants to make a difference for students." 


During the two-day conference, participants attended a variety of workshops on leadership topics focusing on an "ACTion Hero" theme. Speakers included MWCC Executive Vice President Ann McDonald and motivational speaker Justin Jones-Fosu of Baltimore, MD, who challenged the students to not just see the proverbial glass as half-full throughout their lives, but to "fill the glass back up."

Prior to the conference, student leaders at each college orchestrated a variety of fundraisers to raise money to benefit this year's recipient, Helping Our Troops, Massachusetts. Collectively, the campuses raised $4,265.58, enough to send 284 packages to troops serving overseas. MWCC's Student Government Association raised $2,011.05 - nearly half the total - claiming the coveted recognition as top fundraiser for the second consecutive year.

Pictured: MWCC Student Trustee Caroline Horvitz, front, center, received the Dean Sullivan Award during the Community College Student Life Association fall leadership conference. Joining her at the conference awards celebration were members of MWCC's Student Government Association, Executive Vice President Ann McDonald and Assistant Dean of Students Greg Clement, CCSLA president. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Milton Samuels, Roxbury Community College)

Area Youths Participate in United Way Youth Venture Fall Kick-off

UWYV Fall Kick-offMore than 500 students from area schools traveled to MWCC on Oct. 20 for the United Way Youth Venture of North Central Massachusetts Fall Kick Off, making this event the largest United Way Youth Venture gathering ever. As a three-way partnership between MWCC, Ashoka's Youth Venture, and the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, the UWYV of North Central Massachusetts encourages young people and inspires them to initiate and create positive, lasting change in their communities.   


MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino and United Way NCM President Phil Grzewinski were among those who welcomed the students. "We truly believe in applied education," said President Asquino." It is something that will stay with you forever."


State Senator Stephen Brewer also offered  words of encouragement, "Young people in society are 10 percent of the population but 100 percent of our future. You alone can't do everything, but each one of you can do something, and with that you can change the world," he said.


The event featured breakout sessions, networking opportunities and guest speakers including Romke de Haan, president of Spreenkler Creative; Rebecca Kantar, founding member and chief executive officer of Minga; and Jourdan Urbach, founder and director of the International Coalition of College Philanthropists and Children Helping Children/Concerts for a Cure.


In the past year, 2,175 students from the area were actively engaged in the UWYV program. Students are eligible to receive seed funding of up to $1,000 to start their venture. Over the past eight years, 122 Venture Teams in the region have received more than $120,000 to start their ventures.


This past year, the UWYV has launched 35 new ventures across all partnering schools, districts and organizations, which include 14 middle and high schools in six area school districts and four community-based organizations. They include, Leominster Public Schools, Ayer-Shirley Public Schools, Fitchburg Public Schools, Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, Murdock Middle/High School in Winchendon, North Central Charter Essential School in Fitchburg, 21st Century After School Program in Fitchburg, House of Peace and Education in Gardner, Chester Mossman Teen Center in Lunenburg and the Boys & Girls Club of North Central Massachusetts. Students attending the Fall Kick-off also came from Mahar Regional High School, Oakmont Regional High School, MWCC, and Boston, Framingham and Nashua, NH.


"We are letting young people know that they can make positive change right now," said Kumar Raj, UWYV coordinator. Last year, venture teams raised over $24,000 for their Ventures, which range from supporting animal shelters to creating after-school programs for their peers.

- Angela Marini
Pictured: United Way Youth Venture Fall Kick-off at MWCC. (Photo courtesy of Angela Klempner).


Recent Works by MWCC Alumna Janet Dupuis on Exhibit in East Wing Gallery

Janet DupuisMWCC alumna Janet Dupuis returned to MWCC for her first solo art show. Her exhibit of abstract paintings runs through Nov. 17 in the East Wing Gallery of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.


Dupuis' exhibit is a collection of abstract work in mixed media and acrylic paint. "I like to communicate my love of surface textures, colors and the joy of composing with a variety of media," she explained.


A life-long resident of Gardner, Dupuis said she is inspired by looking at other artists' work, colors and the composition of shadows, shapes, and objects. "I love the chance perfect placement of things in nature. In my work, I alter reality to show the truth or essence of a place and the feeling and energy it evokes. I work intuitively, letting the surface of my work dictate what it needs to become complete."


Although she worked briefly as a lab technician, from the young age of 10 Dupuis knew that she wanted to become an artist. She earned her associate degree in art from MWCC, before earning her bachelor's degree in art from Framingham State University and her master's degree in arts education from Fitchburg State University. Dupuis now teaches visual arts at Narragansett Middle School and is an adjunct art professor at Anna Maria College, where she teaches art history and mixed media studio courses.


"I believe that my love of teaching influences my creation of art and my artwork enhances my teaching. I'm so glad that I am finally doing what I should have been doing all along," she said. 


Although Dupuis teaches art to others, she believes that one should never stop learning, and continues to take classes herself. "I expect to retire when I'm 95. I'll never stop creating art."


Pictured: MWCC alumna Janet Dupuis during an artist's reception Oct. 14 in the East Wing Gallery. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Meskauskas).


- Angela Marini 

Upcoming Events

Discover MWCC and College Majors Expo will take place Thursday, Oct. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Commons. Learn about certificate and degree programs, explore college services, hear from alumni, meet with admissions, financial aid and career counselors, talk with professors and tour the campus during this free event. For more information, call the Enrollment Center (978) 630-9284 or email


MWCC's annual Scary Karaoke will take place Thurs. Oct. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the North Café. Come join in on the "spooky" fun. There will be snacks, a Build a Monster station, a $100 cash door prize every hour and cash prizes ($100, $70, $30) for best costumes. The event is free for all MWCC students, faculty and staff and is sponsored by CATS and the Student Life office.


In recognition of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness Week, CATS, the Student Life office, Health Services, and the the college's Department of Public Safety and Security will sponsor a Party Smart Mocktails and Fatal Vision Program, including Texting and Driving on Monday, Oct. 31 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the South Café. Purchase a full-sized beverage and receive a free glass goblet (while supplies last). Proceeds to benefit the SGA's annual Thanksgiving food drive.


The Student Life Fall Film Series concludes with Native Spirit & the Sun Dance Way on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café. This informative and moving documentary communicates a real sense of the grandeur, beauty and nobility of the spiritual heritage of Native Americans.


Children of EdenTheatre at the Mount concludes its 2011 season with the popular Stephen Schwartz musical Children of Eden, opening for six performances beginning Thanksgiving weekend. From the creators of Godspell, Pippin and Les Miserables comes this joyous and inspirational new musical about parents, children and their search for understanding. Children of Eden is a musical parable based on the first nine chapters of the Book of Genesis, from Adam and Eve to Noah and the Great Flood. Stephen Schwartz, who also wrote the music for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt, created the music and lyrics, and John Caird wrote the book. The cast for Children of Eden includes Matt Dombroski as Father, Nick Howe as Adam/Noah and Fatima Lewis as Eve/Mama Noah. Also featured in the show are Amanda Carpenito, Alison Laverdiere, Taylor Lawton, Michael Kozloski, Tyler Moran, Joel LeBlanc, Melissa Gates, Jacob McDonald, Emily Xarras and a large ensemble of singers and dancers. Performance are November 25, 26 and December 2, 3 at 8 p.m., and November 27 and December 4 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $20 for evenings, $15 for matinees, and $10 for children ages 16 and under. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Theatre at the Mount Box Office at 978 632-2403 or online at


MWCC is offering Information Sessions on a number of academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: A.S. Nursing at Gardner Campus: Nov. 16, 2 to 3 p.m., room 204; Practical Nursing Certificate at Gardner Campus: Nov. 22, 2 to 3 p.m., room 204; Clinical Laboratory Science: Nov. 22, 4 to 5 p.m., Heywood Hospital; Complementary Health Care, Nov. 17, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 204; Dental Hygiene: Nov. 9, 2 to 3 p.m., Burbank campus, Fitchburg. Prospective students interested in attending an information session are asked to call the Admissions Office at 978-630-9110 (TTY 978-632-4916), or email


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