MWCC e-News

Dec. 4, 2012

In This Issue
Governor Patrick Hosts Community College Meeting
MWCC Launches Online News Center
Phi Theta Kappa Donates Project Graduation Funds to HOPE
Green Street Cafe, Fitness Center & Student Clubs Share During the Season of Giving
Recent Works by Local Artists on Display in East Wing Gallery
Green Society Hosts Presentation on State's Beetle Battle
Upcoming Events
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topGovernor Patrick Hosts Community College Meeting

Governor Deval Patrick hosted the first meeting of the Commonwealth's 15 community college board chairs on Nov. 29 to discuss the implementation of his community college plan. MWCC board Chair Tina Sbrega was among the participants.

The governor's community college plan, supported by the Legislature and included in the FY13 budget, focuses on "strengthening the connections between our campuses, our employers, and our workforce so that each and every one of our students has the opportunity to thrive," said Governor Patrick.  "These 15 board chairs are the lynchpins of that new, coordinated system of community colleges and I am excited about what we can accomplish together." 

Delivering on the goals of his community college plan, Governor Patrick recently awarded community colleges a total of $4 million in grants to support increased skill training and workforce alignment, improved student learning outcomes and efficiency measures at campuses across the Commonwealth. These grants will give campuses the additional capacity they need to promote higher completion rates of degrees and certificates, be more responsive to the needs of local economies as well as of the state's fastest growing sectors and adopt a system-wide standard core of course offerings.

The governor also announced nearly $300 million in capital funding to community colleges this fall to advance high-quality instructional and research facility projects throughout the community college system to help students remain competitive in a 21st century global economy. MWCC has been awarded $37.9 million for a new science and technology building.


For more about the governor's community college plan click here. 

 MWCC Launches Online News Center
News CenterMWCC's Marketing and Communications Division has launched the Mount Wachusett Community College News Center, a new online feature for students, faculty, staff and the general public.
The new web page provides a place for the college community and the greater community to access MWCC news, feature stories, upcoming events, photos, videos and more in one convenient location.
Visitors can search by category for campus news and events including campus life, academics, alumni, student and faculty highlights.
To visit the site, go to
Phi Theta Kappa Donates Project Graduation Funds to HOPE

PTK donation to HOPEMembers of MWCC's Phi Delta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society recently presented a donation to the House of Peace and Education from proceeds raised during the chapter's ninth annual Project Graduation.

The $300 donation was collected through the sale of Commencement DVDs in conjunction with the college's Broadcasting and Electronic Media program.


"We truly appreciate this," HOPE Executive Director Christian Orobello told the chapter members during a visit to the college. "The money you raised will send a child to summer camp who would not be able to go otherwise. The good you've done and the effort you put in really grows within HOPE. We could not exist without the people of greater Gardner."

In addition to this donation, the Alpha Beta Gamma business honor society also raised funds for HOPE through a recent bake sale.

Pictured from left, Julie Graziano; Michelle Peters, chapter secretary; Megan Reiser; Elizabeth Reiser chapter president, HOPE Executive Director Christian Orobello; MWCC Professor Michael Greenwood, PTK faculty advisor; Karen Duchnowski, Project Graduation co-chair; MWCC Executive Vice President Ann McDonald; Fagan Forhan, Director of Experiential Learning Opportunities & Civic Engagement and PTK Faculty Advisor; Stevie Burwell.


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Green Street Café, Fitness Center & Student Clubs Share During the Season of Giving
Heifer International
A goat munches hay at Heifer International's Overlook Farm in Rutland.

MWCC's Green Street Café is continuing its holiday tradition of supporting Heifer International's mission to end hunger and poverty around the world.

Dining Services Manager Lynne Franciose and her team are collecting loose change and other donations through the end of January with the goal of raising $1,000 for the non-profit organization, which operates the Learning Center at Overlook Farm in Rutland. Heifer International sponsors programs in the U.S. as well as 50 other countries, including projects in Massachusetts, the Mississippi Delta Region and the Appalachian Mountains.

"For many, many people in the world, food cannot be taken for granted," said J.P. Perkins, Heifer International volunteer coordinator for central Massachusetts, who recently presented a talk to MWCC students in the cafeteria. The Green Street Café's efforts are raising awareness about global hunger issues as well as funds to provide support where it is most needed, Perkins said. The nonprofit organization was established nearly 70 years ago by Dan West, an Indiana farmer.

"The Green Street Café adopted the Heifer International Project as its charity three years ago in an effort to reach out and inform the college community of the organization's inspiring and positive efforts towards ending hunger around the world," Franciose said. "In the spirit of the giving season, we wanted to recognize the Heifer Project and give to their effort in the form of donations collected at our cash registers."

The organization teaches families and communities who are struggling with poverty and hunger how to raise a variety of animals, along with techniques to improve their gardening. Heifer provides livestock that ranges from chicks to water buffalo to be raised for their milk and eggs, or in the case of water buffalo, a powerful field-tilling force, Franciose said. The animals are not slaughtered. As they reproduce, the project requires that the "gift" of one of the offspring be passed on to another needy individual, family, or community.

"There are so many important causes and meaningful efforts of charity all around us that choosing one is difficult. However, we have made a conscious effort to focus on this cause as it relates to our effort in providing food, and that food and health are the base for everything," Franciose said. "The knowledge and tools that Heifer provides will help the recipients and give to them and their families and communities for a lifetime. It's a gift that keeps giving, and that's a thoughtful and meaningful gift!"

The café collected $1,000 last year and is hoping to match that goal again this year.

"We are very pleased with the contributions made by our customers to this valuable cause that helps  people all over the world," Franciose said. "Thank you to all that have made a contribution and all who will before the end of January!"

Heifer's Learning Center at Overlook Farm offers educational programs and events for the public year-round.  For more information, click here.

More ways on campus to support charitable endeavors: 

Hurricane Sandy:

The Fitness & Wellness Center is sponsoring a book drive to help a school in Union Beach, N.J. replenish thousands of library books lost during Hurricane Sandy. Aquatics Director David Graham, a former New Jersey resident, is organizing the effort. A childhood friend who is a teacher in New Jersey told him of the plight of Memorial School, which is located in one of the hardest hit areas of the Oct. 29 storm. Students in kindergarten through grade 8 are in need of children's books, beginning reader books, and fiction and non-fiction books,

"I grew up in New Jersey and a lot of my friends have shore property and live down that way and they've lost everything," Graham said. "When my friend showed me the pictures of how devastated the school was, I thought we could do something up here to help."

Books may be dropped off in the collection box located at the front desk in the Fitness and Wellness Center during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or contact David Graham at or 978-630-9354 for assistance coordinating a book collection or pick up.


MWCC Students:

Student clubs and organizations will raffle off decorated wreathes and various campus departments will raffle off theme baskets during the annual Winter Fest Fair Dec. 5 and 6 in the Commons area. Proceeds from both raffles will benefit the Emergency Student Fund.



MWCC student veterans calendarThe Veterans Group is collecting personal care items, coats, gloves, mittens, hats and other clothing for the Alfred H. Marengo, Jr. Drive for Homeless Veterans. The drive runs through Dec. 11 to support the Montachusett Veteran Outreach Center. Donations can be made in the Veterans Success Center, room 138. The student club is also selling 2013 calendars for $5 featuring MWCC student veterans to raise funds for the Marengo foundation. A Red Barrel media drive collection is also underway to support the foundation's efforts to assist homeless veterans.



MWCC's Student Services Division is hosting a Giving Tree to benefit families in need at a Gardner child care center. To participate, stop by the Student Support Services office, room 141, and select a tag or two from the tree. Unwrapped gifts must be returned to the office by noon on Friday, Dec. 14 with the tag in place.


Student clubs will continue to sponsor bake sales to support local nonprofit organizations, including the House of Peace and Education in Gardner.


COMECC: MWCC's Human Resources Department is accepting donations from MWCC employees for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employees Charitable Campaign. COMECC offers the choice of donating to over 1,000 screened non-profit organizations. Last year's campaign set a new record. Through voluntary one-time donations and payroll deductions and various on-campus fundraisers, MWCC faculty and staff pledged a total of $65,589 to aid those in need.


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Recent Works by Local Artists on Display in East Wing Gallery
Alumni art exhibit
Artists and former MWCC students Matthew Gaspar and Danielle Darling during the Nov. 30 artists' reception in the East Wing Gallery.

"Recent Works," an exhibit featuring paintings by local artists Matthew Gaspar and Danielle Darling, is on exhibit through Jan. 2 in the East Wing Gallery of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

Gaspar, a native of Gardner, studied art at MWCC and Assumption College before earning his bachelor's degree in fine arts education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2010. Darling, a Worcester native, earned her associate degree in art from MWCC in 2005.

An artists' reception, sponsored by the Art Department, took place on Nov. 30.


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The Green Society Hosts Presentation on State's Beetle Battle
Invasive beetle presentation
Samantha Stelmack, center, of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, with members of The Green Society and community during her recent visit to MWCC.

The Green Society student sustainability club hosted a presentation Nov. 26 on two invasive beetles in Massachusetts to raise awareness in the community.


Samantha Brady Stelmack, forest pest outreach and survey coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, provided an overview of the damage in the state and in the country being caused by the invasive Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer. The free lecture drew students, faculty and members of the greater community.

Both beetles have a devastating effect on the environment and the economy, Stelmack said. During the presentation, she explained 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 together to fight the infestation that has had devastating effects in Worcester and has placed the entire Northeastern U.S. on high alert. Worcester's Asian longhorned beetle infestation has required the removal of more than 30,000 trees and has spread into neighboring towns.


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.


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Upcoming Events 

MWCC's annual Winter Fest Fair, sponsored by the Student Life office, the Student Services division and CATS, 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 books to holiday gifts.

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 half-day sessions will take place at noon on the following dates: Dec. 5 at the Devens campus; Dec. 10 and 14 and Jan. 7, 8, 9 and 11 at the Gardner campus. For more information or to register for a Smart Start event, contact the Office of Admissions at 978-630-9110 or


Performing Arts Student Showcases, featuring theatre, voice and dance students, will take place Dec. 10, 11 and 12. Students in the Musical Theatre Dance Styles course, taught by Jerianne Warren, will present a dance styles showcase on Monday, Dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m. in room 182. Students in the Introduction to Acting course, taught by Michael McGarty, will perform scenes and monologues in the theatre on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 9:30 p.m. Students in Becky Ufema's Voice course will perform a recital in the theatre lobby on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 12:40 p.m. The performances are free and open to the college community.


Objects Gene Cauthen
Cauthen: Objects

Sculptor and MWCC Professor Emeritus Gene Cauthen, former chair of the college's art department, will present a lecture on Dec. 11 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Studio III. The talk, sponsored by the Art Department, will include a slide review Cauthen's work.

The Gateway to College program at MWCC is accepting applications for the spring semester and has scheduled information sessions for prospective students. The program is for Massachusetts residents ages 16 to 21 who have left high school or at risk of leaving high school without a diploma. Home schooled students are also eligible to apply. Gateway to College is funded through school choice funds from the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District and is administered by Mount Wachusett Community College. The program covers the cost of college courses and textbooks, and the courses count toward high school and college credits. Applicants must attend a three-day information session to be considered for the program. The information sessions will take place on the following dates at MWCC's Gardner campus: Dec. 11, 12 and 13; Dec. 18, 19 and 20; and Jan. 8, 9 and 10. To register for an upcoming information session, call 978-630-9248.


A Practical Nurse Pinning Ceremony will take place Monday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center. During the ceremony, each graduate, dressed in a traditional nurse uniform, will be welcomed into the profession by having a nursing pin fastened to her/his lapel by a fellow nurse, a family member, friend or faculty member.


Orientation for New and Transfer Students will take place Thursday, Jan. 17 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Gardner campus. The orientation will include a general information session, academic and student success sessions, student IDs and more. For more information, contact the office of Student Life at 978-630-9142.


MWCC is offering Information Sessions on several academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Associate Degree in Nursing: 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: 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

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