May 9, 2012
In This Issue
Student Trustee Caroline Horvitz Selected for DHE's '29 Who Shine' Award
Retired Professor Joseph Baldyga Donates $13,000 to Create Three New Scholarships
Representatives Olver & Tsongas Visit MWCC for Forum on Student Loans
Flash Mob Kicks off Admitted Student Day
Student Success Celebrated During Phi Theta Kappa Induction Ceremony
MWCC Student Wins National Alpha Beta Gamma Scholarship
Computer Graphic Design Exhibit Showcases Student Talent
Student Veterans Receive Continued Support From Local VFW
Psychology Students Present Mental Health Awareness Day
Employees Recognized During Service Awards Celebration
Global Challenges Focus of What's Next Speaker Series
Social Media Marketing the Focus of Summer Business Luncheon Training Series
Upcoming Events
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

TopStudent Trustee Caroline Horvitz Selected for

DHE's '29 Who Shine' Award

Student Trustee Caroline HorvitzThe Department of Higher Education will kick off the 2012 college commencement season by recognizing the student winners of the 29 Who Shine awards during a ceremony on Thursday, May 10 at the State House. These awards honor 29 outstanding public college and university graduates, one from each community college, state university and UMass campus in the state, for their academic achievement and community service.

MWCC Student Trustee Caroline Horvitz is among the honorees. The group also includes five veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the first female African American firefighter in the city of Holyoke's history, and an aspiring physician who designed and opened a free medical clinic for African immigrants in Worcester.

The students will be honored at a ceremony attended by Gov. Deval Patrick, state education officials, campus presidents, faculty and students.

"These exceptional students have earned the respect and admiration of the whole Commonwealth. I look forward to seeing all the ways they will contribute to a better Massachusetts," Governor Patrick said.

"The collective brainpower of students like the 29 Who Shine is the Commonwealth's biggest asset in the global competition for industry and jobs," said Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education. "I am thrilled to see this level of achievement by our public college and university graduates." 

For the past academic year, Ms. Horvitz has served as Student Trustee on MWCC's Board of Trustees. She also is a member of MWCC's Honors Program, the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and previously served on the Student Government Association. An exemplary student and mentor to fellow students, Ms. Horvitz is widely recognized on campus for her wit, intellect, and desire to help motivate others.

Born with cerebral palsy and deafness during a difficult delivery that claimed the life of her twin sister, Ms. Horvitz attended the Beverly School for the Deaf as a child and was later home-schooled. She is fluent in five sign languages, including exact English, British, French, Greek and conversational American. She has studied Latin, and is keenly interested in medieval history, Latin and archival studies.

In October 2011, she received the Dean Sullivan Award, a top honor that is presented each year to a Massachusetts community college student in recognition of their commitment and achievement as a leader. She also was named this semster to the All-Massachusetts Academic Team. She will attend Mount Holyoke College in the fall.

Ms. Horvitz feels she has no barriers or obstacles that interfere with her life. A few years ago, while touring Pompeii, someone remarked that she could not possibly reach the top of the ruins in her wheelchair. Not only did she do so - she then translated Latin inscriptions for other tourists.

"I don't really have any hardships. I was blessed to be in a family that treated me the exact same way as everyone else," she said. "There is nothing I cannot overcome. No matter how bad you think it can get, make sure to dedicate your life to helping someone else. There's always somebody out there who is worse off than you." 

Retired Professor Joseph Baldyga Donates $13,000 to Create Three New Scholarships
Joseph Baldyga

Joseph Baldyga,

MWCC 1974 yearbook.

Paying for college, often while juggling family and job responsibilities, remains as critical an issue for students today as it did when former Mount Wachusett Community College Professor Joseph Baldyga taught the finer points of marketing, economics, business math, advertising and other subjects from 1970 to 1995.

That's why the former Athol resident recently donated $13,000 to Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, Inc. to establish three new scholarships for students. Veterans and students majoring in business administration or education will benefit from Mr. Baldyga's generosity.

"Professor Baldyga admirably served Mount Wachusett Community College, and its students, for a quarter century," said President Daniel M. Asquino. "It is most heartening that in his retirement, he continues to help students in our region achieve their academic goals. We are truly grateful for his generous support."

"There was then, and still is, a great need for financial assistance," said Mr. Baldyga, who retired from MWCC with emeriti status in 1995 and moved to Florida with his wife, Edith. While reflecting on his academic career, Mr. Baldyga focused on ways he could support others in memory of his late wife and his best friend and colleague at MWCC, Joseph B. Ruth, Jr., as well as fellow veterans who courageously serve the country before transitioning to college.

The Joseph B. Ruth, Jr. Scholarship, a $500 award, will be presented annually to an MWCC Business Administration graduate who is transferring on for a bachelor's degree in business. Preference will be given to veterans, in honor of Mr. Ruth's 42-years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Baldyga's $5,000 donation was recently matched by the Ruth family, creating a $10,000 endowed scholarship.

"The Mount was a big part of our family life for almost 30 years," recalled Joseph Ruth III, Senior Vice President of Operations and Finance at Rollstone Bank & Trust in Fitchburg. All five of the Ruth children earned associate degrees from MWCC before transferring on for a bachelor's degree. "When we learned that Joe Baldyga had decided to do this, we thought it was a great idea."

Mr. Baldyga, originally from Bridgeport, Conn., was hired by Mr. Ruth in 1970 when Mr. Ruth chaired the business department at MWCC.
"He was a mentor, actually," Mr. Baldyga recalled. "I was coming from business to the academic area. He had a very large family and I got to know the children - several were in my classes. He turned out to be my best friend, and you can't ask for more than that."

Joseph B. Ruth, Jr.
Joseph B. Ruth, Jr., in 1974.
Though Mr. Baldyga knew his business acumen opened the door to teaching, two similarities further forged the friendship. Both men served in the Marines during World War II, and both served in North China after the war, a unique distinction within the USMC. Joseph Ruth, who joined the Marines shortly before Pearl Harbor, served with the famed First Marine Division and rose to the rank of Colonel. He served as chair of MWCC's business department at a time when many of his colleagues also were veterans of World War II and the Korean War.

"It was a vintage when all of these men had military service in common. And they were all devoted to The Mount," recalled Joseph Ruth's wife, Mary, an Ashburnham resident.

Mr. Baldyga's love of country and devotion to the veterans who serve it led him to donate an additional $5,000 to create the Joseph S. Baldyga Veterans Award. This annual award of $500 will be presented to an MWCC student and military veteran who is graduating from the business program and transferring to a four-year college or university.

Mr. Baldyga, who enlisted in the Marines at age 17 right out of high school during WWII, went on to serve on several Pacific Islands; in the occupation of Japan; in 1948-49 in North China; as an instructor during the Korean War; and on peacetime maneuvers to Goose Bay, Labrador, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Hong Kong, and Manila. He completed 12 years of service before deciding to pursue higher education at the University of Bridgeport, where he graduated magna cum laude and received the coveted American Marketing Association Gold Medal. While employed in technical sales positions, he commuted evenings to New York University and earned an MBA degree. Later, while teaching at MWCC, he also earned a master's degree in Counseling at Fitchburg State University.

In addition, through a $3,000 donation to the foundation, Mr. Baldyga established the Edith V. Baldyga Scholarship in memory of his wife of nearly 60 years, a life-long advocate of education who taught elementary school for many years in Athol, Connecticut and Florida. This annual award of $300 will be presented to a graduating MWCC student who is transferring to a four-year college or university to study early elementary education. Mr. Baldyga previously established a memorial scholarship at his wife's alma mater, Southern Connecticut State University.

"Few of us will earn the world-wide fame of those such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but with the proper higher education and motivation, all of us can make significant contributions in rewarding and interesting careers," Mr. Baldyga said. "In the final analysis, I am pleased that these scholarships will help worthy MWCC students fulfill their promise."

U.S. Representatives Olver & Tsongas Visit MWCC for Forum on Student Loans
U.S. Reps Tsongas and Olver
Reps. Tsongas and Olver, at MWCC on May 3, are urging their counterparts in Congress to keep student loan interest rates low.
U.S. Representatives John Olver and Niki Tsongas recently joined Mount Wachusett Community College students to decry a potential increase in Stafford Loan interest rates. During a May 3 forum in the North Café, students explained the hardships they and many of their peers would face if the interest rate doubles from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, as called for in prior legislation.

The representatives highlighted the impact that the impending rise in interest rates would have on students and families who must borrow to attend college. Several students, including incoming Student Trustee Christine Eck and incoming Student Government Association President Bridgett Woodcock, expressed their opposition to the hike. MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino noted the significance of the issue both nationally and at MWCC. Director of Financial Aid Kelly Morrissey moderated the forum.

"I'm fortunate to represent a Congressional District with nearly 75,000 students attending the 12 institutions of higher learning that are located here," Congressman Olver said. "In the last academic school year, nearly 32,000 of these students took out more than $190 million in Stafford Loans. This is not the time to be making it more difficult for young people to get an education."
SGA President Isaac Matson
Outgoing Student Government Association President Isaac Matson at the forum.

More than 7 million students will incur an additional $6.3 billion in repayment costs for the 2012 - 2013 academic school year unless Congress intervenes. Every additional year that Congress fails to act will cost a student borrower $1,000 in additional repayment costs.

"As a former dean at a community college, I know how important government subsidized loans can be in helping students access higher education and the jobs of the 21st century," said Congresswoman Tsongas. "That is why I have supported legislation that would prevent this interest rate increase on student loans from taking effect and will continue to work to see that it is paid for in a way that is fair and doesn't put other essential services at risk."

If interest rates for Stafford Loans double, more than 161,000 students across Massachusetts will see their debt load increase by $134,190,236. At MWCC, one-third of all students receive Stafford Loans, and half of those students are receiving loans at the 3.4 percent rate. Nationally, two-thirds of all graduating students carried loan debt, which averages $25,000 per person Congressman Olver said.

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress made historic investments in student aid. The law halved interest rates on need-based federal student loans to 3.4 percent- making these loans more affordable for low- and middle-income students. If Congress doesn't act before July, the rate will jump back up to 6.8 percent, making it much more difficult for many American students and their families to afford a college education.
Flash Mob Kicks Off Admitted Student Day
MWCC flash mobMWCC's annual Admitted Student Day kicked off on an upbeat note - literally - when a flash mob of students, faculty and staff jumped up and danced to the Blake Shelton version of "Footloose." The crowd broke out in applause throughout the dance, especially when President Asquino twirled onto the stage. (View a video on MWCC's YouTube channel by clicking here).

Following the opening act, the incoming students and family members attended presentations and information sessions throughout the morning.

"We're here for one reason only, and that is for you. We're here to make sure you reach your goals and aspirations," President Asquino remarked, adding that all four of his children and two foster children attended community colleges before continuing on in their studies and careers. He urged the incoming students to become involved on campus and to tap into many services available should they need assistance.

Nearly 300 accepted students and family members turned out for the April 27 event, organized by the Office of Admissions with the support of campus-wide volunteers. The event has been a great success over the past several years as the college celebrates spring with current students and welcomes newly accepted students and their families to campus. The day included a morning reception; campus tours; greetings from faculty, alumni and current students; workshops on financial aid; advising and course selection; and information on student activities. In the afternoon, the band Mighty Groove provided entertainment.

"The day started out with a bang and the energy continued throughout the day," said Carol Cullins, Assistant Director of Enrollment Management.
Student Success Celebrated During Phi Theta Kappa Induction Ceremony 
PTK induction
PTK inductees celebrate during the induction ceremony.
More than 250 students were inducted into MWCC's Phi Delta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society this spring. As part of this recognition, the chapter's officers and advisors coordinated the first induction ceremony, held May 3 in the North Café and attended by dozens of students. In past years, new members have been recognized during the college's annual Evening of Excellence award ceremony, but the large number of inductees this year led to the special ceremony, which members intend to make an annual event.

Angelo Sabatalo, corporate director of organizational development for Nypro University and a member of MWCC Foundation's board of directors, delivered the keynote address; using humor to deliver a message that determination and perseverance will serve the students well in life. Despite his attempts to be a star athlete at UMass, Amherst in basketball, baseball and tennis, Sabatalo shared that he was not discouraged when other student athletes prevailed, especially when those classmates turned out to be basketball great Julius Erving, Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan and tennis legend Arthur Ashe.

He noted that the honor society's tenets of wisdom, aspiration and truth are building blocks to help students achieve success in their academic studies and future careers. Waving a chunk of the Berlin Wall as he spoke, Sabatalo noted that the wall came down because people - including scores of students  - had a vision, 'not of the way things were, but of the way things could be, and they had the will to do it. There is no wall that wisdom, aspiration and truth cannot knock down. There is no barrier in front of you that you cannot conquer without those three tools.' "

Dr. Michael T. Greenwood, Fagan Forhan, Director of Experiential Learning Opportunities and Civic Engagement, and faculty member and Advisor Bob Mayer serve as co-chairs of the honor society. During the ceremony, Professor Greenwood recognized Professor Sheila Murphy for her past eight years as advisor to the society.

PTK members are currently conducting the ninth annual Project Graduation food drive through Commencement to benefit the Gardner Community Action Committee, and the Commencement DVD sale, which will raise funds for the House of Peace and Education.

MWCC Student Wins National Alpha Beta Gamma Scholarship
Alpha Beta Gamma Award
Professor Linda Bolduc presents the Ester Cross-Carter Memorial Essay Scholarship to Christopher Kyprianos.
MWCC student Christopher Kyprianos has been awarded the Ester Cross-Carter Memorial Essay Scholarship, a national award presented to a member of the Alpha Beta Gamma business honor society. His essay, "Helping Others," was selected from all entrants nationally.

Professor Linda Bolduc presented Kyprianos with the award during the Alpha Beta Gamma induction ceremony on May 2. Bolduc, the long-serving advisor of the honor society, said she was delighted with this first-time recognition for an MWCC student. "We're so proud of him."

Alpha Beta Gamma, an international business honor society, was established in 1970 to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students in business and related curricula at degree granting academic institutions. Twenty nine students enrolled in the Business Administration, Paralegal Studies, Computer Information Systems, Computer Graphic Design, and Medical Assisting were inducted into MWCC's Chi Gamma Chapter of Alpha Beta Gamma this spring.

At MWCC, Kyprianos is working on a double major in Business Administration and in Broadcasting and Electronic Media with a Concentration in Photography. He is an honors level student, which is a prerequisite for being invited to participate in the local and national chapters. This past academic school year, Kyprianos served as treasurer of the Chi Gamma Chapter of ABG Honor Society at MWCC. After his anticipated graduation in May 2013, he plans on continuing his education by participating in the Nichols College 3 Plus 1 program offered through MWCC, and will remain focused on his studies in the business and digital communications fields.

Over the past 25 years, Kyprianos has volunteered his time and energies to assist and support a variety of organizations. He has been involved with programs such as the LUK mentoring program, the Gardner Visiting Nurse Association HIV Testing and Education program, the Urban Anglers program that was sponsored by the Mass. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and several other groups.

Computer Graphic Design Exhibit Showcases Student Talent
Jon Van Dyke
Computer Graphic Design students Jon Van Dyke and Benjamin Stone won the top awards during the department's annual spring exhibit and awards ceremony on April 26. Van Dyke won best of show in the print category and best of category in the Magazine Design competition for his Snapshop Magazine design. Stone won best of show in the web category for his Fozzy web design.

The event is a juried honors exhibition of student design projects in 17 categories from both the print and web design programs.

Prior to the ceremony, a reception was held for the students, their family and friends and other guests. The exhibit will remain on display through early September.

In addition to the best of show awards, the following students received awards:

Print Advertisement: Rachel Letourneau, best of category; Tamara Malay, Jon Van Dyke and Benjamin Stone, honorable mention;
Benjamin Stone
Magazine Design: Jon Van Dyke, best of category; Trudy Baranoski, honorable mention;
Logo Design: Matthew Phelps, best of category; Jon Skinner, honorable mention;
Identity Design: Jon Van Dyke, best of category; Heather Chadsey, honorable mention;
Illustrated Poster: Tamara Malay, best of category; Sarah Northup, honorable mention;
Promotional Poster: Jon Van Dyke, best of category; Maegan Beauchamp, honorable mention;
Photomontage: Dan Provost, best of category; Eric Fisk and Trudy Baranoski, honorable mention;
Website Design Mockup: Dan Provost, best of category; Benjamin Stone, honorable mention;
DVD Cover: Benjamin Stone, best of category; Dan Provost, honorable mention;
Package Design: Jon Van Dyke, best of category and honorable mention (2 submissions);
Cereal Box Design: Rebecca Landry, best of category; Colleen Mulligan, honorable mention;
Digital Photography: Paige Crane, best of category; Michael Bueno, honorable mention;
Brochure: Alexander Gyles, best of category; Jon Van Dyke, honorable mention;
Digital Photo Art: Margaret Jones, best of category; Jordan LeBlanc, honorable mention;
Illustrated Interface: Renee Douglas, best of category; Heather Chadsey, honorable mention;
Magazine Cover: Nathaniel Pickett, best of category; Eric Fisk, honorable mention;
Miscellaneous: Renee Douglas, best of category; Matthew Phelps, honorable mention.

Student Veterans Receive Continued Support from Local VFW
VFW DonationThe Ovila Case Post 905 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Gardner recently donated $1,000 to MWCC Foundation's Veterans Memorial Scholarship.

President Daniel M. Asquino accepted the generous donation from VFW Commander Dave Caswell and past commander Don Progen, and thanked the veterans for their continued support of MWCC and student veterans. The scholarship was established to recognize the important role played by MWCC in ensuring that the sacrifices and service of veterans who served the country will not be forgotten.

Scholarship funds are awarded to new or returning full-time students who were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces, or are currently serving in the Reserves or National Guard. The award is presented each spring during the college's annual Evening of Excellence ceremony.

Pictured: President Daniel M. Asquino is presented with a check for $1,000 from David Caswell, commander of the Ovila Case Post 905 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Joining them, are Don Progen, past commander, scholarship committee member and MWCC alumnus, and Darlene Morrilly, executive director of the MWCC Foundation.

Psychology Students Present Mental Health Awareness Day
Attorney and former State Senator Robert Antonioni is presented with an award of appreciation from Professor Sheila Murphy.
A group of students in Professor Sheila Murphy's Abnormal Psychology course hosted a Mental Health Awareness Day on April 26 as a service learning project to the community.

The students, Crystal Beckwith, Amanda Morse, Jessica Jacques, Larissa Rodriguez, Trevor Stacy, Abby Haines, Alyssa Ginter, Chris Camerer, and Kim Stupak, coordinated the event, which included poster board presentations and a mental health fair with representatives from various agencies around the area including LUK, Alcoholics Anonymous, NAMI, and YOUm Inc. Students, as well as the public, had an opportunity to learn more about different mental health conditions and treatment options.

Former State Senator Robert Antonioni, Susan Christianson from Heywood Hospital's SBIRT program, (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment), and Kelley Cunningham from the Massachusetts organization Samaritans, were among the panelists.

Antonioni, who shared his personal story about battling depression and the heartache of losing a brother to the illness, was recognized by the class with a Mental Health Advocate Award. Antonioni, who served in the Legislature for 20 years as a representative and senator, has become a champion and activist for people suffering from mental illness since revealing publicly in 2006 that he had battled depression. In 2007, he was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine and interviewed for an article on men and depression.

Mental illness does not discriminate, and affects an estimated 50 million Americans in any given year, yet just 25 percent will seek help, Murphy said.

Employees Recognized During 2012 Service Awards Celebration
Employee Recognition
President Asquino and Professor Edward Stevens, who was recognized for 45 years of service to MWCC and its students.
President Daniel M. Asquino and the Human Resources department honored employees who reached milestone years of service with the college during the 17th Annual Employee Service Awards Ceremony May 2 in the North Cafe. In addition to the service awards, MWCC announced the recipients of the 2012 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance and the recipients of the college's second annual da Vinci Parachute Award.

Devens Campus Director Julie Crowley, Art Professor Joyce Miller, Nursing Professor Michelle Smith and Computer Graphic Design Professor Paul Swerzenski were presented with the Commonwealth Citation.

MWCC initiated the da Vinci Parachute Award in 2011 as a way to recognize employees who demonstrate innovation and creativity in their positions at MWCC. Kathy Boucher of the Human Resources Department and Leonard Charbonneau, Motor Equipment Mechanic in the Facilities department, were presented with the individual awards. The group award was presented to the Dining Services team.

Professor Edward Stevens was recognized for 45 years of service to MWCC, and Lois Cox, Executive Assistant to President Daniel M. Asquino, was recognized for 40 years of service to the college.

Daniel Bosworth, Ann McDonald, Daniel McMilleon and Jacqueline Suhoski were recognized for 25 years; Gloria Correa, Therese Howlett, Elaine Kinner and Margaret McLaughlin were recognized for 20 years; and Debra Anderson, John Bergeron, Brenda Bourgeois, Mary Buffone, Michele Despres, Lorie Donahue, Sheila Murphy, Diane Ruksnaitis, Nancy Williams and Monica Yesmentes were recognized for 15 years of service. Nancy Boucher, Lynne Franciose, In Sook Manseau, Steven Penney and Michelle Valois were recognized for 10 years of service.

Employees recognized for five years of service include Melissa Bourque-Silva, Julie Capozzi,
Jo-Anne Cronin-Fors, Laura Crosby, Fagan Forhan, Veronica Guay, Donald Kitzmiller,
Karen Kolimaga, Holly Kreidler-Phaneuf, Gerald LeBlanc, Ellen McCracken, Susan McHugh,
Natalie Mercier, James Miller, Tami Morin, William Poulin, Maureen Provost, Kathleen Russell, Anna Ruuska, Jean Silberzweig, Donna Tully and Jennifer Welch.

Global Challenges Focus of What's Next Speaker Series
Whats Next Speaker SeriesThe Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement at MWCC, in partnership with The Trustees of Reservations, presented the What's Next Speaker Series on "Global Issues: Promise or Peril in the 21st Century?" on April 27 at the Doyle Community Park and Center in Leominster.

The event featured discussions with local leaders and innovators regarding seven global challenges that will shape the world over the next 30 years. Identified by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies as the "Seven Revolutions," these challenges are in the areas of population, resource management, technology, information and knowledge, economics, security, and governance.

Global changes are "going to challenge all of our resources on our planet, and we need to understand that our actions locally will have an impact on the world," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, in welcoming participants to the program. "We need to explore future solutions to make our communities a better place to live and work."

Panelists discussed these issues on global and local levels. Fagan Forhan, Director of Experiential Learning Opportunities and Civic Engagement at MWCC, and Maureen Provost, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, started the morning off with an overview of the Seven Revolutions and how MWCC is incorporating this information into curriculum.

Lisa Vernegaard, Vice President for Sustainability for The Trustees of Reservations, focused on natural resources. Dr. John Chetro-Szivos, a professor at Fitchburg State University, presented information on the Cosmopolis 2050 project and addressed security needs. Glenn Eaton, Executive Director of the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission, presented information on these issues on the local level, including the areas of transportation, open space planning, and economic development.

The panelists opened the dialogue with a short film on the Seven Revolutions revealing global statistics in these crucial areas. By 2025, 54 countries will face water shortages, 1/2 of all the world's oil will come from OPEC, and 80 percent of the population growth will occur in countries that are unable to support it.

"It's not meant to depress you," Provost remarked of the sobering statistics. "It's meant to open your eyes." Provost said that students as young as the preschoolers enrolled in the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education at MWCC, as well as college students enrolled in the First Year Experience course this semester focusing on these challenges, are learning ways in which they can make a difference in the world, both locally and globally.

Pictured: Presenters at the What's Next Speaker Series, included, from left, Associate Professor Maureen Provost; Lisa Vernegaard, Vice President for Sustainability for the Trustees of Reservations; Fagan Forhan, Director of Experiential Learning Opportunities and Civic Engagement at MWCC; Glenn Eaton, Executive Director of the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission; and Fitchburg State University Professor John Chetro-Szivos, Director of the Douglas and Isabelle Crocker Center for Civic Engagement.

Social Media Marketing the Focus of Summer Business Luncheon Training Series at MWCC
facebook and twitter logosSocial media is revolutionizing the way businesses and other organizations are marketing their products and services in the 21st century. The Summer Business Luncheon Training Series at Mount Wachusett Community College is geared toward increasing communication for organizations, fostering brand awareness and improving marketing, customer service and sales.

Social networking can be a powerful tool for small or medium sized businesses looking to grow. The Friday lunch-and-learn sessions, sponsored by MWCC's Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development, will be led by industry professionals including representatives from Constant Contact, Inc. of Waltham and other business trainers.

"Entrepreneurs who build their businesses and websites around social networking say it offers a big advantage. Customers become more engaged with the business, share favorite products and services with friends and often turn them into buyers, too," said Jeremiah Riordon, assistant vice president of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development at MWCC. "The 'lunch-and-learn' series offers regional businesses a sample of the best training available to help make their businesses more efficient, competitive and ready for new opportunities."

In "Social Media Marketing Strategies" on June 15, participants will learn how businesses can take advantage of major social media tools including Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics and Social Campaigning through e-mail marketing. This session is an introduction to the maze of communities, platforms, and social media tools in a more personalized and dynamic level than traditional methods. Participants will learn more about the role social media might play and which networking tools would be helpful in building sales and a stronger business presence.

In "Using Google Analytics to Maximize Your Website Traffic" on June 22, participants will examine impact to their company's website traffic, gain insight into analyzing visitor traffic, and learn how this free service offered by Google generates detailed statistics about website visitors to enhance search engine optimization strategies.

In "Making Money with Facebook" on July 13, participants will discover how to capitalize on Facebook features to promote their business and learn how to develop page content to increase customer attention to businesses. With more than 845 million users on Facebook worldwide, this business session will provide an overview of some best practices and shows how Stories, Ads and Pages can expand current reach and increase business.

In "Profitable E-mail Marketing Strategies" on July 27, participants will learn to take advantage of e-mail marketing campaigns to build business. Researchers estimate that U.S. firms spent $1.5 billion on e-mail marketing in 2011, which is expected to grow to $2.68 billion by 2016. This session will reveal insightful techniques into the strategies of an effective campaign and will highlight the measurement and analytics of program and campaign results.
In "Trailblazing with Twitter" on Aug. 10, participants will discover why and how Twitter should become a marketing tool for their organizations. Twitter is one of the fastest growing online platforms being used for communication and conversation. This could be one of a few initiatives that may work well for companies if an objective is to gain increased exposure while exploring the array of social media applications available.

On Aug. 24, the final session in this series will focus on ways in which companies can obtain grants for professional development through the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund program, which provides resources to Massachusetts businesses and workers to train current and newly hired employees. Mike Corcoran, Operations Supervisor for the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Program, will present information about recent changes to the program, as well as the process of accessing training dollars for companies in the North Central Massachusetts region.

All social media sessions take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in the North Café at MWCC's Gardner campus, 444 Main Street. The Workforce Training Fund session will take place from 12:30 to 1:30. The cost for each session is $10 when pre-registered or $13 at the door and includes a complimentary lunch. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register for one or more sessions by calling 978-630-9575 or email

Upcoming Events
MWCC's Financial Aid office is offering FAFSA Filing Workshops to provide one-on-one assistance to students to complete the 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The final workshop of the spring semester will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, May 11 in the Advising Center. Contact the Financial Aid office at 978-630-9169 to sign up or for more information.

The academic achievements of MWCC students will be celebrated Thursday, May 10 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 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center. Graduates will be pinned and freshmen will recite the Dental Hygiene Oath.

MWCC's 46th CommencementMWCC's 47th Commencement will take place Thursday, May 17 at 6 p.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center. State Senator Stephen M. Brewer will deliver the commencement address. Members of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society will conduct the 9th 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 Gardner Community Action Committee.

MWCC's 39th Annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony will take place Friday, May 18 at 5 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.

The 41st Annual Exhibit of Student Art is on display in the East Wing Gallery through May 17.

MWCC is offering Information Sessions on a number of academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the Gardner campus on the following dates: Associate Degree in Nursing: June 5 from 2 to 3 p.m., room 204; Practical Nursing certificate: May 22 from 2 to 3 p.m., room 204; Dental Hygiene: May 16 from 2 to 3 p.m., room 204; Physical Therapist Assistant: May 10 from 2 to 3 p.m., room 205; and Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical LabTech: May 22 from 4 to 5 p.m. room 214, followed by off-site clinical lab tour. 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 Admissions Office at 978-630-9110 (TTY 978-632-4916), or send an email to

To submit to the MWCC e-News or request coverage for your event, contact the Public Relations Office at 978-630-9547. Archived issues of Mount Wachusett Community College e-News can be found online at

Janice O'Connor
Director of Public Relations
Mount Wachusett Community College