Nov. 5, 2012
In This Issue
MWCC Participating in State DHE 'Go Public' Event
Four Chambers of Commerce Partnering with MWCC on Business Trends Survey
Lunch with a Hero Links MWCC Student Veterans with Civilians on Campus
Senior Vice President Sharyn Rice Receives an Outstanding Women in Business Award
MWCC Tutor Philip DeCharles Receives Excellence in Tutoring Award
Joyce Conlon's 'Camouflage' Exhibit on Display in the East Wing Gallery
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topMWCC Participating in State DHE 'Go Public' Event

Go Public eventFive campuses in Western and Central Massachusetts are teaming up with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in a unified effort to promote the academic excellence and value of the Commonwealth's public colleges and universities.


Mount Wachusett Community College, Greenfield Community College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Fitchburg State University and Westfield State University will participate in "Go Public!" - a free event for prospective students and families scheduled to take place Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at Mahar Regional High School in Orange. The Mahar program is part of a series of "Go Public!" events taking place at high schools across the state this fall.

Each event is hosted by a leading member of the legislature and will feature student speakers who tell of their experiences at a public college or university campus. Governor Deval Patrick has videotaped a personal message to high school students, urging them to complete four years of high school math and three years of lab sciences in preparation for college-level work.

The Mahar Regional High School event will be hosted by state Senator Stephen Brewer. All local middle and high school students and their families are invited to attend the "Go Public" event at Mahar Regional. For more information, please visit

"We're launching 'Go Public' at a time when many of our campuses are seeing record enrollment gains," said Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland. "Our goal with this effort is to make sure that students who look to public higher education are ready for the academic rigor of our programs and are excited about the many opportunities that await them at our campuses across the Commonwealth," he said.

"At a time when many students and families are becoming increasingly concerned about the cost of higher education, it is essential that they explore the outstanding academic programs that are available nearby and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

Campuses plan to run financial aid seminars for students and their families. Admissions officers from many of the state's public colleges and universities will be at each event to answer questions.

 Four Chambers of Commerce Partnering with MWCC on Business Trends Survey

MWCC and Chambers surveyFour regional chambers of commerce are joining forces with Mount Wachusett Community College's business department to conduct the first annual joint survey of North Central Massachusetts business owners and executives. The Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce, and the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce are collaborating with the college on the "MWCC School of Business and Chamber of Commerce Executive Survey of Business Trends."

The survey will track social marketing trends, local jobs forecast, new employee skills in demand, top college degrees in demand, organizational culture, employee benefits, organizational change management and what it takes to be a leader on the job. The results will help all business in the region better predict hiring and business growth plans for the region.

The online, confidential survey will be distributed beginning Nov. 1. It will target the owners, presidents and vice presidents that lead local firms and will feature four key components: staffing; organizational culture; change management; and marketing.

The staffing component aims to capture what local businesses are looking for in new employees and will describe the skills needed for success on the job. In addition, employers will describe the college degrees most in demand and benefits offered to employees. The organizational culture factors will be rated based on importance to each firm. The change management component will outline the factors that contribute to the overall view of local business growth as well as assess preparedness to respond to market factors, and the marketing component will rate customer contact methods, including social media, that are used by local firms.

Each participating chamber of commerce will receive a survey results report prepared by Dr. Michael T. Greenwood, management and economics professor and business department chair at MWCC. The survey report will help firms understand the aggregate scores that show how firms scored on the business factors covered in the survey. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and will be repeated each fall and will yield increasing benefits as each year's data is added to a database of trends. These trends, according to Dr. Greenwood, will start to shape a shared understanding of local business growth in the region, and will enhance state and national statistics that may not fully reflect the local climate.

"Partnering with local business is an important part of our overall mission at the college," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "This survey of business trends in our region represents another way we are partnering with local business."

"This annual survey will significantly expand the information local business leaders have at their disposal for strategic planning," Dr. Greenwood said. "In addition, it will be an important tool for anyone looking to get hired or grow their career in our local area. This is a win-win for businesses and potential employees," he said.

"Our partnership with higher education leaders like Dan Asquino and his team at Mount Wachusett is important to our core mission to help build a better educated worker with the skills most in demand by employers," said James Bellina, President and CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber.

"Having this type of information for our region will be a significant benefit for our members as they plan to expand and hire," said David McKeehan, President of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber.

"The region has benefitted greatly through the partnerships, like this, created by MWCC. The information this survey will provide is going to be immeasurable to the business community," said Melissa Fetterhoff, President & CEO of the Nashoba Valley Chamber.

"We are pleased to partner with the other chambers and with Mount Wachusett," said Jay Deane, President of the North Quabbin Chamber. "Our members will benefit when they compare the survey results with their firm's policies and procedures."

The online survey has been designed to ensure confidentiality. "This web based survey is specifically designed to be 100% anonymous because we want everyone to feel comfortable sharing important business trends data," Dr. Greenwood said.


Pictured, from left, James Bellina, President and CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce; Yasmin Loft, Sales & Member Services Manager for the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce; MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino; Dr. Michael T. Greenwood, chair of MWCC's business department; and Maria Bull, Member Services Coordinator for the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce. Not pictured: Melissa Fetterhoff, President and CEO of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce.


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Lunch with a Hero Links MWCC Student Veterans with Civilians on Campus 
Lunch with a Hero
Assistant Professor Festus Kiprono dined with USMC veteran Rebecca Gilbert, a Liberal Arts major.

A growing number of colleges and affiliated groups are venturing beyond campus borders to try to bridge the military-civilian gap and so is MWCC's Veterans Group. The Veterans Group, a student club on campus, organized a raffle in October for 12 of its members to share a one-on-one catered lunch with civilian students, faculty and staff members.


The luncheon, held Nov. 1 and funded by the club, provided an opportunity to educate civilians on military experience to enhance awareness and understanding throughout the MWCC community. Participating veterans and active service members included Andrew Brunell, U.S. Marine Corps, who co-chairs the Veterans Group with Andrew Contact, USMC; Lisa Bentley, U.S. Air Force; Rebecca Gilbert, USMC; Bryan Sanderson, USMC; Nick Guthmiller, USMC; James Colbert, USMC; Jason Lopez, Navy; Bill Blais, USMC; Craig Phelps, USMC; Kerry Rolens, Army and Army National Guard; Nick Bonfilio, USMC; and Raymond Greeno, Army. In addition, MWCC student and Army veteran William Rivera volunteered to photograph the event.


Students, faculty and staff members who participated in the luncheon included Sarah Lanagan, Andres Figueroa, Festus Kiprono, John Reilly, Ben Gawlik, Bob Labonte, Jacqueline Richard, Angel Toro Perez, Steve Washkevich, Jessica Wolf, Becky Cote and Ai Co Abercrombie.


"This is a way of breaking down barriers that sometimes exist between military and civilians. It's a great opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to get to know each other and discuss openly their experiences," said Kristine Larkin, who oversees MWCC's Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success. 

Lunch with a Hero
USMC veteran Bryan Sanderson, a Human Services major, shared the meal with Professor John Reilly.

Professor Reilly said he was interested in entering the raffle to show his support for MWCC's student veterans, as well as veterans of all generations, a sentiment that was echoed by the other civilian participants. "I think by and large veterans are not recognized enough. They're putting their lives at risk to protect our freedom and it's not recognized enough. It should be," said Professor Reilly, who shared the meal with Bryan Sanderson, a Human Services major.


Mr. Sanderson, said the event and other programs and activities sponsored by the student veterans club and the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success are enhancing understanding and awareness of issues many veterans face when transitioning into college. "This is another step toward getting to know each other, a way to share experiences and learn from each other," he said.

Student Jessica Wolf, who dined with active military member Kerry Rolens, a Criminal Justice major, said she wanted to show her support for the college's veterans. "I was a military brat, both my parents were in the military and my grandfather was a prisoner of war during World War II," she said.

Navy veteran Jason Lopez, a pre-engineering major, dined with Jacqueline Richard, who is a classmate of his wife, Shiann Lopez, in the Natural Resources program.

"This is a good way for the veterans to tell our story," he said.


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Senior Vice President Sharyn Rice Receives An Outstanding Women in Business Award 
Sharyn Rice
Sharyn Rice. (Photo by Edd Cote for Worcester Business Journal.

Sharyn Rice, Senior Vice President of Access, Transition, and Development, is a recipient of the  Worcester Business Journal's 2012 Outstanding Women in Business Award. The award was announced Oct. 29 and this year's six recipients will be recognized during a Nov. 16 luncheon at Tuckerman Hall in Worcester, hosted by the publication.

She was recognized for her leadership throughout 35 years in the field of education. Her career has been built around her passion for education, beginning in 1977 when she served as Director of Education at the Protestant Youth Center in Baldwinville, (now known as College Hill Academy, run by Y.O.U. Inc.). She went on to work for 10 years as a guidance counselor and special education teacher at Tahanto Regional High School in Boylston and at West Boylston High School.

In 1988, she joined MWCC as a diagnostic developmental specialist and adjunct faculty member, teaching students with learning disabilities and special needs. Since that time, she has served the college in a variety of roles, including assistant dean of training at Shriver Job Corps, vice president of community and foundation development, and as senior vice president of advancement and external affairs, before being named senior vice president of access, transition and development in March 2012.

In her new role, Ms. Rice manages more than 90 people and oversees a number of state and federally funded programs that provide access to transitional curriculum for high school students. Her responsibilities also include new funding development, strategic planning, and management of all MWCC high school/college credit course offerings. She also maintains collaborative relationships with 14 partnering public schools, many organizations, and state and federal programs.

Ms. Rice serves on numerous boards and committees including: conference chair for the Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Association; Legislative Coordinator for the National Council of Educational Opportunity Associations; co-founder of the Team for Services for Students with Disabilities, an initiative that creates accessible environments, programs, and resources for students with disabilities; and National Conference Steering Committee Member of AHEAD (Association on Higher Education And Disability), a professional membership organization for individuals involved in the development of policy and in the provision of quality services to meet the needs of persons with disabilities in all areas of higher education. She serves on the governance committee of RCAP Solutions, and previously served as chair of the nonprofit organization's board.

Most recently, she has volunteered for the Gardner Visiting Nurses Association and served as coordinator and co-chair for "Voices for Change," a conference launched as a strategic alliance between Mount Wachusett Community College, the SHINE Initiative, and 14 other mental health stakeholder organizations.

Her passion for education has also made her a strong mentor many, and she also has supported the local business community through her active involvement in many of the Chambers of Commerce in the region.

"Sharyn is a fantastic ambassador for the college," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.  "In her many years at the college and in her numerous roles, she has done much to advance the mission of Mount Wachusett Community College and is truly a go-to person."

She earned her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Special Needs from Fitchburg State College and received her master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Anna Maria College. She also received a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study in Higher Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts.


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MWCC Tutor Philip DeCharles Receives Excellence in eTutoring Award 
eTutoring award presentation
MWCC tutor Philip DeCharles was presented the Outstanding Tutor Award by Carolyn Rogers, left, and Dr. Diane Goldsmith, right.

Philip DeCharles, an accounting tutor at MWCC and an alumnus of the college's first graduating class, is a recipient of one of the first two Diane J. Goldsmith Awards for Excellence in eTutoring presented by the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium.

Carolyn Rogers, director of Academic Services for the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium and Director of the program, presented the Outstanding Tutor Award to Mr. DeCharles during the organization's annual eTutoring Workshop, recently held at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Conn. the Outstanding Administrator Award was presented to Dr. James Gentile of Manchester Community College.

The Diane J. Goldsmith Award provides the eTutoring community with an opportunity to recognize outstanding tutors and eTutoring coordinators who have had a significant impact on the development and/or delivery of tutoring across the entire eTutoring community.

At MWCC, Mr. DeCharles has been an exceptional tutor whose contributions to the eTutoring process can be seen in the way he works with students. His approach to learning, coupled with the numerous resources he has created on his own time, help to create a positive learning environment for students. He also took part in MWCC's eTutoring marketing campaign, meeting with students and conducting live demonstrations of eTutoring for two days during the college's open house. A member of MWCC's class of 1966, Mr. DeCharles is a longserving member of the college's Alumni Association and also served as the association's president for many years.

eTutoring started in 2001 when the CTDLC received a grant to create an online tutoring initiative with two-year and four-year public, and private institutions. The leader of this effort, CTDLC's Executive Director, Emeritus, Dr. Diane J. Goldsmith, wrote the successful grant that provided funding from the Davis Education Foundation. Dr. Goldsmith led this unique and diverse community of professionals to explore how they might best address the student support needs of the burgeoning community of online students. The result is a multi-consortia, multi-institution community of practice that is delivering collaborative online tutoring services across more than 130 campuses internationally.

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Joyce Conlon's "Camouflage" Exhibit on Display in East Wing Gallery
Art instructor Joyce Conlon
Art instructor Joyce Conlon's exhibit "Camouflage," continues through Nov. 21 in the East Wing Gallery.

"Camouflage," an exhibit of 28 paintings by artist Joyce Conlon, an adjunct instructor of art at MWCC, is on display through Nov. 21 in the East Wing Gallery of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

"Like a shadow cast or an image reflected on water, my work involves the transformation of form on a surface. I locate my work within the tradition of modern American landscape artists and others like Thomas Nozkowski who have been inspired by nature and its intersection with culture," Ms. Conlon writes in her artist's statement.

The series, Fence, began with a walk in the woods, where she came across a neglected antique wire fence. "I was and continue to be struck by the sculptural beauty of the forms that were once so similar and now bend and distort. The fence, that had stood straight and determined to mark the boundary between one side and another, sporadically recalls its former shape and purpose. Like many artists, I attempt to represent my subjective experience.  As with the fence, I am affected by change both short and long term. Working with acrylics on board, I begin work by seeing and creating pattern as an organizing principle. I am interested in disrupting and reasserting connections with pattern and scale."


A resident of Amherst, Ms. Conlon's work has been on exhibit throughout New England and overseas. She earned a bachelor's degree in art from Pratt Institute, a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, and a master of fine art degree from the Hartford Art School. An instructor at MWCC since 2010, she teaches Introduction to Drawing and Introduction to Painting. 


Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed on Nov. 12 in observance of Veterans Day.

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Upcoming Events

American FlagMWCC would like to thank all those who have served and who are currently serving in the military with a Veterans Appreciation Breakfast. MWCC faculty, staff and students who are veterans or are currently serving in the military are invited to attend the breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 8 to 11 a.m. in the North Café. To register, contact Sarah Lanagan at the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success at 978-630-9855 or

The Student Life Fall Film Festival continues on Thursday, Nov. 8 with Little Sparrows at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café. In the midst of an Australian summer, the film introduces three sisters: Nina, a widow with two young children; Anna an aspiring actress unhappily married to a filmmaker; and Christine, a med student who has yet to come to terms with her sexuality. When their mother's breast cancer returns, the family is faced with choices and the reality of their last Christmas together. Simple and sincere, Little Sparrows celebrates life and the unconditional love of a mother. In addition, the film Native Spirit and the Sun Dance Way, will be featured on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café of the Gardner campus, and on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 11:40 a.m. in Lab 4 at the Leominster campus. The film is an informative and moving documentary which treats its subject with sensitivity and respect. It communicates a real sense of the grandeur, beauty and nobility of the spiritual heritage.


A Native American Craft Workshop with Loril Moondream will take place Thursday, Nov. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Lion's Den Student Center in celebration of National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. Ms. Moondream is a White Mountain Apache from New Mexico who is often called upon to perform traditional and contemporary native music and to share her stories at ceremonies, pow-wows, and for the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness, an organization associated with the commissioner's office for American Indian Affairs in Massachusetts. What began at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the First Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States has resulted in the month of November being designated for that purpose. The event is sponsored by the Student Life office and Campus Activities for Students (CATS).


MWCC's Human Resources department is hosting a Dessert Bake-off on Monday, Nov. 19 at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café to raise funds for the 2013 Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employees Charitable Campaign (COMECC). Three prizes will be awarded to the desserts receiving the most votes. The cost to enter a dessert is $5, the cost for faculty and staff to taste and vote is $2, and the cost for students to taste and vote is $1. There will also be a multi-item raffle. All proceeds go toward MWCC's COMECC drive. To enter a dessert, contact the Information Center.


MWCC is offering Information Sessions on several academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Associate Degree in Nursing: Nov. 6 from 5 to 6 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 204; Practical Nursing: Nov. 15 from 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus; Dental Hygiene Programs: Nov. 14 from 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 204; Clinical Laboratory Science: Nov. 26 at 4 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 214; Physical Therapist Assistant, Nov. 8 from 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 205. 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