Aug. 28, 2012
In This Issue
MWCC Foundation Names Martin F. Connors, Jr. Citizen of the Year
MWCC Launches Career Coach to Assist Students & Job Seekers
Fire Science Program's Live-in Component Giving Students a Competitive Edge
Broadcasting & Electronic Media Students Team Up With Local Drummer
Record Number of Students Participate in 8th Annual Summer Leadership Camp
MWCC Foundation Golf Tournament Nets $55,000 for Student Scholarships
Summer Dual Enrollment Courses Offer Taste of College Life
MWCC Offering Leadership Training Seminar Series for Executives & Professionals
Upcoming Events
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TopMWCC Foundation Names Martin F. Connors, Jr.

Citizen of the Year

Martin F. Connors Jr.Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, Inc. will honor long-serving community volunteer Martin F. Connors, Jr. as the 2012 Harold E. Drake Jr. Citizen of the Year.  Connors, President and CEO of Rollstone Bank & Trust, will be recognized during the foundation's annual dinner on Oct. 18 at the Colonial Hotel in Gardner. Outstanding MWCC students who receive foundation scholarship awards also will be honored.

The Citizen of the Year Award is presented in memory of Harold E. Drake, Jr., treasurer and former president of Royal Steam Heater Co. and Lynde Hardware & Supply, Inc. The award recognizes community members who exemplify Harold Drake's extraordinary commitment to the North Central Massachusetts region.

"Marty Connors contributes an enormous amount of his time, energy and expertise serving the North Central Massachusetts community, particularly in the areas of education, health care, and economic development," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "His leadership in these critical areas, as well as his support for many other community organizations, benefits the residents of our region in myriad ways and serves as a great example for our students to find ways to volunteer their skills to benefit others. We are proud to recognize him as our 2012 Citizen of the Year."

Among his community activities, Connors serves as a director and past campaign chairman of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, as trustee and audit committee chair for HealthAlliance Hospital, as vice chairman of the board of trustees for Fitchburg State University, as governor of the Diocesan Expansion Fund of Worcester, and as a finance committee member at St. Leo's Parish in Leominster. He also serves on numerous professional organizations, including SBLI of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Bankers Federal Liaison Committee, and is the immediate past chairman of the board of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. He previously served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts, the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, Our Father's House, and other organizations.

"I'm honored to be recognized," Connors said. "Without the support of the Rollstone Board of Directors and fellow co-workers, I would not be in a position to do the many things that I do. Personally, I find it very interesting and a real learning experience, but I also feel good when these organizations are able to help people. Two key industries for this area are education and health care. These are two economic engines that at times seem to be overlooked, but are significant contributors to our local economy."

Prior to joining Rollstone Bank & Trust, Connors was a partner at Reagan & Company LLP, a regional CPA firm. He also worked at Safety Fund National Bank, beginning as controller and working up to chief financial officer.

Since its inception in 1846, Rollstone Bank & Trust, previously known as Fitchburg Savings Bank, has reinvested profits in the community to help create jobs and move the economy forward, Connors said. "To this day, the decisions we make are based on what is good for the community, as well as the bank." The bank has branches in Fitchburg, Leominster, Worcester, Townsend, and Harvard.

Through its Rollstone Charitable Foundation, the bank has given more than $700,000 to local charities and nonprofit organizations, including MWCC to support workforce training and development, Fitchburg State University, Health Alliance's Cancer Center, and the American Red Cross.

A second-generation American and dual Irish/American citizen, Connors' grandparents emigrated from Ireland during the turn of the 20th century for greater opportunity and settled in Fitchburg. Connors graduated from St. Bernard's Central Catholic High School in Fitchburg, and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Bentley University. He also attained a certificate with honors from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. He and his wife, Kathleen, have two children, Martin III and Kelly.

The MWCC Foundation annually awards more than $260,000 in scholarship funds to students. Tickets to the annual foundation dinner are $75 per person. A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting Jessica Connors at 978-630-9387 or

MWCC Launches Career Coach to Assist Students & Job Seekers
Career Coach training
MWCC Coordinator of Career Placement and Planning Patricia Brewerton assists AmeriCorps members Cassandra McMartin, left, and Neisha Boulanger, center, with the new Career Coach tool.

Wondering where the hot jobs are, or where they'll be when you graduate? MWCC is launching Career Coach, a free online tool that allows students, prospective students and community members to explore potential careers, earning potential, job prospects within their geographic region, and more.

MWCC is the only college or university in Massachusetts offering this service and is proud to deliver this benefit to current and prospective students, as well as the greater community.


On Aug. 27, 15 new members of the AmeriCorps Job Ready Program, a collaborative between MWCC and Fitchburg State University, participated in a training session to prepare them to use this new tool to assist students and job seekers. MWCC will conduct training sessions throughout the upcoming academic year for students and community members, and the tool can be accessed independently, as well.

Career Coach is designed to help students find a good career by providing the most current local data on wages, employment and job postings, and displays the associated education needed to get there. Developed by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., Career Coach can be found on MWCC's website at The college is implementing the tool to assist area residents with their career and academic selections. Brenda Schelling-Biggs, Director of Institutional Planning & Effectiveness, and Fagan Forhan, Director of Experiential Learning Opportunities and Civic Engagement, are leading the new initiative with support from representatives from throughout the college.

Through a simple keyword search, students and any visitor to the college's website can learn about the employment prospects of careers they want to research. The real-time information is customized to the college's geographic region and includes detailed wage estimates and up-to-date job postings associated with any career. Users are directed to the college's programs when searching for specific jobs.

Career Coach also includes a built-in resume builder to help students and jobseekers quickly and efficiently put together an updated resume with key skills and job experience highlighted.

"Career Coach is an exciting and fun 'how to' tool to help students, their parents and the general public narrow down realistic career and job options by matching job titles to job availability within a 20, 50 and 100 mile radius of the college," Brewerton said. "By matching these career dreams to degree and certificate programs offered at the college, students will know, in advance of graduation, who is hiring and where. Students just starting their college major search can also search by specific major and then cross reference jobs suitable for graduates in that major," she said. "Career Coach takes the mystery out of the job search process. Equipped with the latest labor market data, students are now able to make informed decisions when it comes to their career saving them both time and money."


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Fire Science Program's Live-in Component Giving Students a Competitive Edge 
Fire Science Technology program
Fire Science Technology major Ken Chase, center, with program consultant Alfred LeBlanc and Ashburnham Chief Paul Zbikowski at the Ashburnham station.
MWCC Fire Science Technology students now have the opportunity to gain around-the-clock experience through a new, live-in component to the academic program. The Ashburnham Fire Department became the first local fire department to offer a residential component for students, and two other local communities are preparing to do the same.

Gardner resident Ken Chase, 24, is the first student to participate in the live-in program. Since the spring semester, he has bunked at the Ashburnham fire station several nights a week and will continue to do so while completing his associate degree.

"It's making a huge difference. I get to see how everything is done here," he said. A member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Chase said he's also benefiting from the camaraderie of living at the station. "It's comparable to the military, the brotherhood. It does feel like a family here."

"We wanted to enhance the program and give students an opportunity that they wouldn't have otherwise," said Alfred LeBlanc, a retired Leominster fire chief who serves as MWCC's fire science program consultant and chair of the Fire Science Advisory Board.

Chase, who earned certification as an EMT, is also completing his Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 certification training with the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy while earning his degree at MWCC. The combination of education, training, certification, and experience will give the program's graduates a competitive edge while beginning their careers, LeBlanc said.

Last year, MWCC adopted the U.S. Fire Administration's Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education curriculum, which rejuvenated the program while aligning it with national academic and training standards. This spring, MWCC was one of four colleges in the country recognized for fully adapting the FESHE Institutional Recognition and Certificate Program. MWCC is the first college to offer the live-in component. 


MWCC's degree program, geared toward those already working in the field as well those interested in pursuing a fire science career, can be completed entirely online or in combination with on-campus courses. Students pursuing the associate degree have the option of transferring credits toward a bachelor's degree, and they also receive certificates of accomplishment from the National Fire Academy. 


Broadcasting & Electronic Media Students Team Up with Local Drummer
Drummer Scott Beddia and BCT students
Broadcasting and Electronic Media students recorded a video tutorial for local musician Scott Beddia, also an MWCC student.
Blend the talent of a local musician, the expertise of MWCC Broadcasting & Electronic Media faculty, and the skills of students eager for an authentic audio and video recording experience and the result is impressive.


Ashburnham drummer Scott Beddia, who is also a nursing student at MWCC, teamed up with Professor Joel Anderson, Assistant Professor John Little and students recently enrolled in the courses Music Recording and Mixing Techniques and Studio Operations and Multi-camera Production, to create a professional quality tutorial video distributed by Beddia's "IndepenDRUM." The video, which can be viewed on YouTube here, was also recently posted to Beddia's website, The musician mentioned the extraordinary recording session with MWCC students during a recent interview with Metronome magazine, which is scheduled to appear in October. He's also sent copies of the video to Boston-based drumstick maker Vater and Norwell-based Zildgian, which makes cymbals.

Beddia comes from a family of musicians who introduced him to many instruments and styles of music. He studied with noted instructors Joe Rizzo of New Hampshire, session drummer William Kennedy of New York and the late Alan Dawson of Massachusetts. His eclectic performance experiences range from drum corps competitions to his one-man drum show "IndepenDRUM. He also performs and teaches locally.

"This collaboration required a more sophisticated system than most of the students had experienced previously, and reinforced the importance of effective communication among the technical crew," Anderson explained. "After the audio was mixed, it was resynchronized with the video. The high definition video was then compressed for publishing to the Internet."

The audio mix was done at Up-Side-Sound Recording Studio in Ashburnham and attended by the audio students during a field trip. The video was shot with the college's new high definition multi-camera system. Three video cameras and seventeen microphones were used in the production.

The video, nearly 13 minutes long, is a drumming tutorial of how Beddia came up with one of his complicated polyrhythmic compositions. It describes the math involved in the piece's beat structure with examples of how he plays the various sections and concluding with a performance of the piece in its entirety. 


"It was a great experience, and the video came out great!" Beddia said. 

"I had never recorded a drum set before," said student Tiffianie LeBlanc, one of the participants in the production. "So being able to mic up every drum separately and decide which mic was going to be best for which drum was a lot of fun, especially being able to do it with the whole class working as a team on it." 

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Record Number of Students Participate in 8th Annual Summer Leadership Camp 
Leadership Camp 2012 backpack driveThe office of Student Life's 8th annual Summer Leadership Camp provided 53 incoming students with an introduction to student success and leadership opportunities at MWCC. The two-day program, held Aug. 21 and 22, offered team building activities, educational workshops and civic engagement projects completed in collaboration with the college's Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

Among the service projects, participants completed the fourth annual backpack drive to benefit elementary school children living in foster care in Massachusetts, and helped out at the nonprofit agency GAAMHA in Gardner and the Spanish American Center in Leominster.

The Leadership Camp, which has grown from one dozen participants in its first year, is designed to give new students a jump start on their first semester at MWCC. The success of the program relies on dedicated faculty, staff, alumni, current students and other community members who participate in the program, said Assistant Dean of Students Greg Clement.
Pictured: Assistant Professor Candace Shivers, second from right, and Leadership Camp participants Andrew Terry, Darren Blakely, Norman Cole, Nathalie Torres and Isabella Mertzic filled 45 backpacks with school supplies donated by the program participants and the college community to benefit children in foster care with the state Department of Children and Families.
MWCC Foundation Golf Tournament Nets $55,000 for Student Scholarships 
MWCC Foundation Golf Tournament
Tournament participant Joe Crowley following his prize-winning hole-in-one shot.
Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation's 17th annual golf tournament raised a record $55,000 for student scholarship funds.

One lucky participant, Joe Crowley, scored a new Cadillac for making a hole in one from a distance of 185 yards. Joel Baker of Baker Cadillac of Leominster, one of the tournament's sponsors, had offered the prize for the past three years for a golfer who achieved the feat. This is the first year a player made the shot.
The tournament, held July 23 at the Sterling National Country Club, drew 120 golfers from throughout the region. The team winning the first place scramble was Gene Morrill, Jim Diamond, Bill Lavis and Donald Scarbrough of SimplexGrinnell. The team winning the first place scramble gross was Ron Dade, Chris Williams, Steve Stanitis and Paul Gallo.The team winning best ball first place was Jack Doolin, Jack Ford, Doug Peterson, Rich Rogers from Workers Credit Union.
Over the past 17 years, the annual tournament has raised $660,000 for student scholarships. MWCC Foundation allocates more than $260,000 each year in scholarship funds. In addition to Baker Cadillac, sponsors included Beauregard Liquors, Bemis Associates, Ron Ansin and family, Laddawn, Inc., SimplexGrinnell, and Rollstone Bank & Trust.

The support from golfers and sponsors "allows us to provide our students with what they deserve - which is the very best," MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino said. "We are most grateful to all of our sponsors for their support."

"I am thrilled with the outcome this year," said Foundation Executive Director Darlene Morrilly. "The weather was perfect, the field played in five hours, revenues were the highest ever, and the auction was the largest to date. To have someone get a hole-in-one is truly a highlight of the tournament. Everyone wins - our students, the college, and the community."
Summer Dual Enrollment Courses Offer Taste of College Life
Upward Bound Math and Science students
Upward Bound Math and Science students Alberto Toro-Perez, Jasmine Adou-Elias and Charles Husselbee work on a project during their summer course.

 Area teenagers looking to save time and money on their college education, or just get a taste of college life, have been accruing credit hours this summer through MWCC's Upward Bound Math and Science program and other dual enrollment opportunities offered through the college's Division of Access and Transition.

This summer, MWCC offered 11 college courses for North Central Massachusetts teenagers. Veronica Guay, Director of Dual Enrollment, worked with Angele Goss, Director of the UBMS program, college administrators and others to expand opportunities for teenagers to earn college credits and remain engaged in academic studies throughout the summer. The dual enrollment courses were offered to teens for $30 through a grant from a U.S. Department of Education. During the summer, more than 150 students from throughout the region enrolled in one or more courses, including English Composition, Algebra, Human Biology, Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Psychology, Psychology of Self, First Year Seminar and transitional courses in math, English and reading.


The courses help provide teens with a "tool kit" of college skills, Guay said. In addition to tackling the course content, the students are being prepped for college life by learning how to read a syllabus, use the Blackboard online learning system to supplement their coursework, and master other skills to succeed. In addition, the courses help them retain knowledge during the summer months before returning to school in September, she said.

High school students in grades 9 through 12 from Gardner High School, Athol-Royalston High School, Murdock Middle/High School in Winchendon and Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg had the opportunity to further experience college life by moving into dormitories at Fitchburg State University as part of a six-week component of the year-round Upward Bound Math and Science program. The grant-funded UBMS program serves students who have an aptitude for math and science, are from first generation college families and/or are income eligible.

The students meet throughout the academic year on the Gardner campus for academic advising, counseling and mentoring, MCAS and SAT preparation, math and science research projects, financial aid and scholarship workshops, educational and cultural field trips. During the summer component, the students study math, biology, chemistry, robotics, English, computer science and other topics in the morning, participate in math and science research projects in the afternoon, then take part in recreational activities and study sessions.


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MWCC Offering Leadership Training Seminar Series for Executives & Professionals 
Professor Michael Greenwood, chair of MWCC's Business Department, will lead the Executive and Professional Development Seminar Series.
MWCC's Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development is offering a leadership training seminar series for executives and professionals who are interested in an affordable, effective way to strengthen their skills. The Executive and Professional Development Seminar Series, offered at the college's Devens campus, is designed for managers and executives at companies and non-profit organizations of all sizes.

Seminar sessions include: building high performance teams on Sept. 14; planning and leading sustainable change on Sept. 28; project management skills tune-up on Oct. 12; coaching and mentoring for high performance on Oct. 26; mastering emotional intelligence on Nov. 9; winning in the marketplace on Nov. 30; and lean leadership on Dec. 7.

The seminar series is designed to meet the needs of busy executives and professionals interested in refreshing or honing skills in organizational leadership, lean management and strategic thinking, said Jeremiah Riordon, associate vice president of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development at MWCC. "These seminars are a perfect fit for the department manager who wants to improve team productivity in a convenient format," Riordon said.

The series will be led by Dr. Michael T. Greenwood, professor of business and economics at MWCC and chair of the college's business department. Each seminar will emphasize a collaborative learning approach that promotes active, participant-centered methods.

Prior to joining MWCC in 2004, Professor Greenwood was a global marketing executive with IBM. He has more than 30 years of business and industry experience building and motivating strong teams to deliver on business plans and successful customer solutions. His executive management experience also includes collaborating in the growth and transformation of two venture-backed consulting companies, including one sold to Yahoo in 1998. He has worked with clients in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Dubai UAE and France.

He also served in leadership positions with ACNielsen, the world's largest market research firm.
In addition to teaching at MWCC, Professor Greenwood serves as an adjunct graduate marketing professor at the Sawyer School of Business, Suffolk University, Fitchburg State University and Nichols College, and also led the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce's 2011-2012 Leadership Institute. He has taught graduate level market research, sales management, strategic marketing, strategic management, marketing management and retail marketing.

"Dr. Greenwood has developed leadership and management training seminars for Nypro and is by far one of the best seminar leaders I have experienced. He brings a good balance between the theoretical and the practical that can be applied on the job right away," said Angelo Sabatalo, corporate director of organizational development for Nypro University at Nypro, Inc. in Clinton.

The seminars will take place on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MWCC's Devens campus, 27 Jackson Road, beginning Sept. 14. The cost is $189 per person for each seminar, with group discounts available. For more information or to register, call 978-630-9575 or go online at
Upcoming Events

The New & Transfer Student Orientation will take place Tuesday, Sept. 4 from 8 a.m to 1 p.m., beginning in the art gallery wing. The orientation will include program and college success sessions, a welcome from President Asquino and several other college officials, a presentation by motivational speaker Michael Miller, the opportunity to meet with advisors, and a student expo.


American FlagMWCC's Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success is sponsoring the Remember to Remember 9/11 Memorial on Tuesday, Sept. 11. An audio recording of the names of nearly 3,000 lives lost during the attacks will begin at 8:46 and continue for approximately three hours. The Patriot Riders plan to arrive with a flag to display during the memorial. At noon, the documentary "9/11: The Filmmaker's Commemorative Edition," will be shown in the North Cafe.


The Fall Fest Welcome & Barbecue will be held on the back lawn of the Gardner campus on Sept 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Grupo Fantasia in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Enjoy the big chair photos, henna tattoos, caricatures, cotton candy, the student club expo, and other activities, as well as a free barbecue that begins at 12:30. The event is sponsored by the Student Life office and CATS (Campus Activities Team for Students) and is open to all MWCC students, faculty and staff. 
"Bike Wachusett," an event sponsored by the MWCC Fitness & Wellness Center's Multi Sport Team, will take place Sunday, Sept. 16. Beginning at 8 a.m. at the Fitness & Wellness Center, riders may participate in a 31, 50 or 101 mile bike ride. Families and friends are invited to enjoy a day of riding through area towns. Rest stops with water and snacks will be available along the routes for riders. For more information or to register, go to or contact the Fitness & Wellness Center at 978-630-9212.

Scallops: New England Coastal CookbookA Scrumptious Scallop Tasting & Book Signing with mother/daughter cookbook authors Elaine and Karin A. Tammi, will take place Wednesday, Sept. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the North Café of MWCC's Gardner Campus. The Tammis, authors of "Scallops: A New England Coastal Cookbook," will dish about their favorite recipes and reminisce with the MWCC community. A donation of $20 to attend the event will benefit the Carl F. Tammi Scholarship Fund, administered by MWCC Foundation and awarded in memory of the long-serving professor. Professor Tammi taught computer science at MWCC for more than 30 years and served as department chair before retiring in 1997. He was named as one of the 40 most influential people of the college during MWCC's 40th anniversary. Karin Tammi is a shellfish biologist who manages a shellfish hatchery at Roger Williams University, in Bristol, R.I. Elaine Tammi lives on Cape Cod, writing mysteries, reading and making scallop crafts. They have co-authored articles for Food Arts magazine and Coastal Living magazine. For more information about the cookbook, click here. Reservations may be made through Sept. 12 by calling 978-630-9387 or emailing


MWCC will host the annual New England Association of College Admissions Counseling (NEACAC) College Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the Fitness & Wellness Center. This free fair is the largest college fair held in Worcester County during the fall and allows attendees to interact with representatives from nearly 200 public and private colleges and universities, as well as military institutions. The fair is open to the public. For more information, contact the Admissions Office at 978-630-9110 or visit


MWCC is offering Information Sessions on several academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Associate Degree in Nursing: Sept. 18 from 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 204; Clinical Laboratory Science: Sept. 25, 4 p.m. Gardner Campus, room 214; Dental Programs (Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting Certificate): Sept. 26, from 2 to 3 p.m., room 204. 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

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