Nov. 20, 2012
In This Issue
MWCC Dental Hygiene Student Crowned Miss Massachusetts USA
Go Public Event Celebrates Mass. Public Higher Education
MWCC Seeks Comments for 2015-2018 Strategic Plan
MWCC Salutes its Veterans and Supports Local Initiatives
SGA Thanksgiving Food Drive Fills Tables for Holiday
Theatre at the Mount Announces 2013 Season
Upcoming Events
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

topMWCC Dental Hygiene Student Crowned Miss Mass. USA

Miss Massachusetts USA Sarah Kidd
MWCC student and newly crowned Miss Massachusetts USA Sarah Kidd.

 MWCC Dental Hygiene student Sarah Kidd is the newly crowned Miss Massachusetts USA. The 20-year-old Leominster resident won the title on Nov. 18 at Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, and will now go on to represent Massachusetts in the Miss USA 2013 pageant this summer.

Ms. Kidd, who entered the competition after being named Miss Central Massachusetts USA, is in her second year of dental hygiene studies at MWCC and works as a model for agencies and the e.l.f. Cosmetics company. She plans to pursue a career in dental hygiene after graduating in May 2013, and also appreciates the new opportunities the latest achievement will bring. The Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants are co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC Universal.

"It's very prestigious and a great opportunity," said Ms. Kidd, who first entered the pageant in 2010 and was second runner up last year. "I set my goals and worked toward it. It's an opportunity of a lifetime and you can basically make whatever you want out of it." She is anticipating "a whirlwind of a year" between completing her studies and appearing at events throughout the state.

"We're very happy for her," said Anne Malkasian, director of the Dental Hygiene program. "She's an excellent student, she's very engaging and she's very dedicated." MWCC's Dental Hygiene program works with the Community Health Center in Fitchburg to provide training for the students and dental care for area residents. "She treats a lot of patients who have barriers to dental care through the Community Health Center and she really feels good about that," Ms. Malkasian said.

During the competition, Ms. Kidd was asked on stage about her work with patients at the center.

"It's a really great opportunity because we get to learn firsthand what we see in textbooks, and we're serving a community that really wants the help, so it's really rewarding. At the end of the day, we help people who really appreciate the care."

The goals of the Miss Massachusetts USA pageant include opening doors and providing career and educational opportunities to all of the young women who participate; involving contestants and titleholders in community service programs and charities; increasing literacy throughout Massachusetts as the special cause of the Miss Massachusetts USA pageant; raising awareness about breast cancer and ovarian cancer in conjunction with Miss USA; and promoting the Youth Anti-Drug Campaign in conjunction with Miss Teen USA.

MWCC Joins DHE and Regional Institutions for Go Public! Event
Go Public event
MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, MWCC student Amber McHale, and Senator Stephen Brewer at the Go Public! event at Mahar Regional High School.
MWCC joined the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and four other campuses to promote the academic excellence and value of the Commonwealth's public colleges and universities at a Go Public! event held Nov. 8 at Mahar R
egional High School in Orange.

In addition to MWCC, Greenfield Community College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Fitchburg State University and Westfield State University participated in the free event for prospective students and families. The program was hosted by state Senator Stephen Brewer and was part of a series of "Go Public!" events that took place at high schools across the state this fall.

MWCC student Amber McHale was among the speakers. A 2011 graduate of MWCC's Gateway to College program, Ms. McHale is continuing her studies in art at MWCC, and plans to transfer to another Massachusetts public college and pursue a career as a veterinary assistant.

"After graduating from high school through Gateway, I decided to continue to attend MWCC as a regular traditional college student. Motivated by my love of art and the sense of community I had experienced at the college, I joined the Art Club during my first semester. These experiences at MWCC provided me with the foundation so that I can move into the career of my dreams," she said.

MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino joined UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy; Dr. Robin E. Bowen, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Fitchburg State University; and Greenfield Community College President Robert Pura as featured speakers; along with students representing each campus. MWCC Financial Aid Director Kelly Morrissey presented information on applying for financial aid, and admissions representatives from each campus provided information about the institutions. Mahar Superintendent Michael Baldassarre emceed the event.
"I believe all the people in my district deserve a chance to attend college," Senator Brewer said. "Massachusetts leads the nation in the number of jobs that are going to require at least some college education - 70 percent of all jobs by the year 2018. When you go to college, it's good for your future, and it's also good for the future of Massachusetts. I believe our students deserve excellence in higher education at a cost that won't leave them drowning in debt for years to come. None of you should have to choose between buying a home and paying off your student loans," he said.

"The promise of America is to make sure that you have opportunity in this world."

MWCC Seeks Comments for 2015-2018 Strategic Plan
Mount Wachusett Community College recently started the integrated strategic planning process to develop a new, four-year strategic plan for fiscal years 2015 to 2018. To inform and enrich this planning effort, a survey has been designed to provide faculty, staff,  students, alumni, and community members an opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions regarding institutional strengths, weaknesses, services provided, and key strategic, institutional level priorities. The new strategic plan will update and build upon the college's 2011 to 2014 strategic plan.
"Mount Wachusett Community College will be focusing on many exciting new projects and initiatives in the coming years, ranging from the construction of our new $38 million science and technology building to incorporating new goals of the state Department of Higher Education's Vision Project," said President Daniel M. Asquino. "As we begin updating our strategic plan, we welcome input from the college community as well as residents of the North Central Massachusetts community."
Those interested in participating in this process are asked to complete the anonymous survey by Friday, Nov. 30. All results will be aggregated and summarized and will serve as an essential foundation for the Strategic Planning Committee's deliberations during the months ahead. To complete the online survey, go to
For more information, contact Brenda Schelling-Biggs, director of institutional planning and effectiveness at 978-630-9593 or email

MWCC Salutes its Veterans and Supports Local Initiatives
MWCC veterans visit Oakham Center School
MWCC student veterans Andrew Brunell, Bryan Sanderson and William Rivera visited Oakham Center School for a presentation. With them is fifth grader Carolena Eck, daughter of MWCC Student Trustee Christine Eck, who helped organize the visit.
In recognition that "freedom is never free," MWCC student veterans and the college community united to host several events in honor of Veterans Day.

The month-long celebration began on Nov. 1, when members of the student Veterans Group hosted a "Lunch with a Hero" event to enhance communication between military and non-military members of the college community. The following week, club members placed 100 flags at the main entrance to represent MWCC's 100% support for its veterans. MWCC showed its appreciation for students, faculty and staff members who served in the military or continue to serve by hosting a breakfast on Nov. 7, sponsored by MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, a Navy veteran, with assistance from the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success.

Gateway to College Director Deb Bibeau, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was among the members of the college community who attended the veterans' appreciation breakfast. "This is a really great event for veterans to come together and share their common experiences and stories, and it's great that Mount Wachusett has a very robust veterans' support network," she said.


On November 9, a group of MWCC student and staff veterans were invited to speak at a Veterans Day celebration at a middle school in Oakham.

Red Barrell drive at MWCC
Lauren Roy, director of the Alfred H. Marengo, Jr. Veterans Foundaton, center, with Kristine Larkin of the veterans success center at MWCC and student veteran William Rivera.
Now, club members and the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success are hosting collections to benefit homeless veterans in Massachusetts. The center and club are sponsoring a Red Barrel Media Collection to benefit the Alfred H. Marengo, Jr. Veterans Foundation, Inc., a local nonprofit agency that assists homeless veterans. Used CDs, DVDs and audio books can be placed in the red barrel located at the entrance of the veterans' success center. The foundation has teamed up with Boston Media Store, which refurbishes and resells the donated items. Half the proceeds go to the Alfred H. Marengo Jr. Veterans Foundation, which uses the funds to provide blankets, clothing, personal care items and other necessities to local organizations such as the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center and Veteran Homestead.

"This project is a great way for the community join in this effort without spending any money," said Lauren Roy, who founded the organization in memory of her father, a Korean War veteran.
In addition to the media drive, the MWCC veterans success center and Veterans Group are assisting the Alfred Marengo Jr. foundation with a clothing drive to benefit MVOC. New or gently used clothing, coats, boots, hats and mittens, as well as financial contributions for new blankets, can be donated at the center through Dec. 11.

The Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success is making an impact throughout the college community and is continuing to strengthen the college's standing as a top military and veteran-friendly campus in the country, MWCC student veterans said.

"You see all these new faces coming in. It's like being back in a unit. I think that's what it's all about and I think that does transcend to the entire student population," said Marine veteran Bryan Sanderson, a human services major. "Other people approach us and we get to educate them and answer questions. It has brought the school together."

SGA Thanksgiving Food Drive Fills Tables for the Holiday 

SGA Thanksgiving Food DriveThe Student Government Association's Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive this fall is providing 56 boxes of food for MWCC students in need, as well as a $20 Stop & Shop gift card for each of the 56 recipients to purchase a turkey, produce and other perishable items.

Additional food collected during the drive will be donated to the Gardner Community Action Council food pantry.

Pictured: Christina Wiggins, left, chair of the SGA Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive and Bridgette Woodcock, SGA president, collected donations at Stop and Shop on Nov. 2. The SGA also collected donations at the college.


Go to top

Theatre at the Mount Announces 2013 Season

Shout! The mod musicalTheatre at the Mount takes great pride in presenting the very best of the just-released musicals and the 2013 season is packed with regional premiers. The theatre will also help MWCC celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special tribute to the music of the 60's in October.

The season opens in February with 9 to 5, the Musical, a story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era. Based on the Universal Pictures film, this is the story of three unlikely friends who conspire to take control of their company and learn there's nothing they can't do. Performances are Feb. 22, 23, March 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. and March 3 at 2 p.m.

Xanadu follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, Calif. in 1980 to inspire a struggling artist to create the first Roller Disco. Performances are June 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. and June 23 at 2 p.m.

In August, Theatre at the Mount will be the first theatre in Central Massachusetts to present a newly released blockbuster musical straight from Broadway. Due to contract requirements and a national tour, the title cannot be released until February, though theatre goers will like the comedy "a lot." Performances are Aug. 9, 10, 16, 17 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 18 at 2 p.m.

In October, TAM presents the mod musical Shout! The smashing musical revue tracks five groovy gals as they come of age during the liberating days that made England swing. Performances are Oct. 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. and Oct 13 at 2 p.m. A special alumni night performance to celebrate the college's 50th anniversary will take place Thursday Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. with 60's prices - just $6 per ticket.

TAM will present two children's shows, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Jr. on April  6 and April 9 - 12; and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day on Oct. 26.

Irving Berlin's White Christmas will round out the 2013 season. In this classic holiday tradition, two showbiz buddies are putting on a show in a magical Vermont Inn and find their perfect mates in the process. Full of classic songs, dancing and laughter, the production promises to be a merry and bright experience for the entire family. Performances are Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 6 and 7 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 1 and 8 at 2 p.m.

For more information about purchasing season tickets or single tickets, contact the box office at 978-632-2403 or order online at


Go to top

Upcoming Events

Asian longhorned beetleSamantha Brady Stelmack, forest pest outreach and survey coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, will present a talk on the invasive Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer on Monday, Nov. 26 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at MWCC. The free lecture, sponsored by The Green Society student sustainability club, will take place in the North Café and is open to the public. Stelmack will provide an overview of the devastating effects of these pests, ways to identify infestation and precautions that can be made. Since the Asian longhorned beetle was detected in Massachusetts in 2008, local, state and federal entities have been working to fight the infestation that has had devastating effects in Worcester and surrounding communities and has placed the entire Northeastern U.S. on high alert. The emerald ash borer has destroyed millions of ash trees since it appeared in the U.S. a decade ago. It was detected in the Berkshires in August 2012.


MWCC is hosting a series of advising and registration events to provide new and prospective students with a one-stop opportunity to streamline the enrollment process in preparation for the upcoming spring semester. During the Smart Start Registration events, newly accepted and prospective students will receive academic advising, assistance with course selection, information about financial aid and academic technologies, assessment testing and more. The sessions will take place at noon on the following dates: Monday, Nov. 26, Wednesday, Nov. 28, Monday, Dec. 10 and Friday Dec. 14 at the Gardner campus; Friday, Nov. 30 at the Leominster campus; and Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the Devens campus. For more information or to register for a Smart Start event, contact the Office of Admissions at 978-630-9110 or Students may register online for a Smart Start event at


TAM holiday showTheatre at the Mount will close out its 2012 season with A Very 'Special' Christmas. WTAM is filming its annual Christmas TV special packed with holiday cheer! From sleigh rides to toy soldiers this show has it all, including a cameo appearance by jolly old St. Nicholas himself. Conceived and directed by Chris Casello, A Very 'Special' Christmas features a talented cast of over 70 singers and dancers. Performances are November 23, 24, 30, December 1 at 8 p.m. and November 25 and December 2 at 2 p.m. Evening tickets are $20, matinee tickets are $15, and tickets for children age 16 and under are $10. Advance reservations are recommended. Call the box office at 978-632-2403 or purchase tickets online at During the shows, TAM will host a holiday food drive to benefit the food pantry at the Gardner Community Action Committee. Donations of canned goods, non-perishable foods, paper products and personal items will be collected in the theatre lobby.


MWCC's annual Winter Fest Fair, sponsored by the Student Life office and Student Services division, will take place Dec. 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Commons area.  Student clubs and organizations will raffle off decorated wreathes and various campus departments will raffle off theme baskets, with proceeds from both raffles to benefit the Emergency Student Fund. Crafters and vendors will have a variety of items for sale, ranging from children's cooks to holiday gifts.   


MWCC is offering Information Sessions on several academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Associate Degree in Nursing: Dec. 4 from 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus, Dec. 10, 5 to 6 p.m., Devens Campus, Dec. 13, 5 to 6 p.m., Leominster Campus; Practical Nursing: Dec. 10 from 5 to 6 p.m., Devens Campus, Dec. 13, 5 to 6 p.m., Leominster Campus, Dec. 20, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus; Dental Hygiene Programs: Dec. 19, 2 to 3 p.m., Fitchburg; Clinical Laboratory Science: Nov. 26 and Dec. 18 at 4 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 214; Physical Therapist Assistant, Dec. 13 from 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 205; Radiologic Technology, Dec. 12, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus, 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