MWCC e-News

Jan. 23, 2013

In This Issue
A Message from President Daniel M. Asquino
MWCC Celebrating 50th Anniversary in 2013
Carla DeFosse Appointed Executive Director of MWCC Foundation
MWCC Trustee Scott Howard Reappointed to Board
Access and Transition Alumni Share College Experiences
MART Bus Route Between MWCC and Athol/Orange Region Expanded
Fitness & Wellness Center Hosts Healthy Bake-off
Upcoming Events
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topA Message from President Daniel M. Asquino

President AsquinoFifty years ago, when the movers and shakers in Massachusetts and greater Gardner established Mount Wachusett Community College, they did so with the foresight of the many ways such an institution would transform the academic, economic and cultural opportunities in our North Central region.

Much has transpired over the decades, yet the same vision and drive our founding leaders exhibited during the revolutionary era of the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the British Invasion remain embedded in our endeavors and commitment to serve our students and communities in the 21st century. Along the way, we've expanded our academic offerings, our campus locations, our technology and our student support services to help generations of area residents fulfill their dreams, be they teenagers, young adults, mid-life career changers, veterans transitioning to college, senior citizens, lifelong residents of the area or newcomers to our country.

While those who came before us marveled at the efficiency afforded when electric typewriters replaced manual ones, we now offer technologies that allow students to access their professors, coursework and resource materials while on campus, at home, or on the go with mobile devices. We've progressed from the days of mimeograph machines to online learning. We've established Mount Wachusett as a national leader in the areas of access and transition, dual enrollment, workforce development, civic engagement, renewable energy and transfer partnerships with private and public colleges and universities. Throughout this time, we have kept the doors to the American Dream alive by keeping costs within reach of citizens who seek higher education, while also expanding financial aid, issues of critical importance today when students and families seek ways to contain loan debt.

As in the early years, our work today is not accomplished alone. Through our many corporate and community partnerships, the opportunities that exist for the citizens and organizations of our region are endless.

MWCC works directly with local businesses and companies to provide workforce training. Over the past decade, the college has obtained millions of dollars in training grants for the region and thousands of workers have taken advantage of these training opportunities.  MWCC ensures that companies have access to a skilled workforce, and that individuals are given the tools they need to succeed in jobs that are integral to maintaining the region's health and economic development.

And we continue to partner with local, state and national leaders and organizations to fulfill the goals of Massachusetts under the Patrick-Murray Administration's Innovation Agenda, as well as the national education reforms initiated by President Obama.

Over the past 26 years as president of MWCC, I have had the honor of witnessing thousands of students pursue and achieve their academic goals and bring their personal, longstanding dreams to reality through individual commitment and determination, as well as the support and guidance of the faculty and staff of MWCC. Now, throughout our region, countless alumni are serving the community as health care professionals, teachers, business leaders, public safety officials, and in numerous other professions.

The days we're living today will become part of our history, and the stories our current and future students tell will become woven into the rich tapestry of Mount Wachusett Community College.

For more information about our history and upcoming events in celebration of our 50th anniversary, visit

MWCC Celebrating 50th Anniversary in 2013
MWCC 50th anniversary
MWCC students, faculty and staff formed a symbolic "50" in honor of the college's anniversary.
Beginning this month and throughout 2013, Mount Wachusett Community College will celebrate its golden anniversary with special events planned for the public, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and others who collectively make up the college community. "Honoring the past, generating the future" is the theme of the celebration.

Over the past five decades, MWCC has evolved from a fledgling institution to multi-campus college providing academic, workforce development and personal enrichment programs to more than 12,000 credit and noncredit students from throughout North Central Massachusetts. Since its founding, more than 100,000 students have attended "the Mount" under the continuous leadership of just two presidents.
"Our golden anniversary is a remarkable milestone, which we approach with great enthusiasm and pride in the generations of area residents who have shared in the journey," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "We are eager to celebrate our past, present and future with the college community and the greater community as we continue to find new ways to enrich the lives of all those we serve. While much as changed, some things remain the same. Today's students benefit from the same commitment to their success, dedicated faculty and superior student services." Read more
Carla DeFosse Appointed Executive Director of MWCC Foundation
Carla DeFosse
Carla DeFosse

Carla DeFosse of Princeton has been appointed executive director of Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, Inc., bringing experience in nonprofit management and development, public service, fundraising, strategic planning and renewable energy.


A lifelong resident of North Central Massachusetts, DeFosse was unanimously appointed by the foundation's board of directors and joined the college community on January 14. She replaces former director Darlene Morrilly, who retired after 10 years of service to the foundation.

"We are delighted to have Ms. DeFosse join Mount Wachusett in this key, community-focused position. She brings a breadth of experience and commitment to education, the community college mission, and to the residents, businesses and organizations in our region," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. Read more


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MWCC Trustee Scott Howard Reappointed to Board
President Asquino and Trustee Scott Howard
President Asquino and Trustee Scott Howard.
 Scott Howard, chief operating officer of Bemis Associates, has been reappointed to the Mount Wachusett Community College Board of Trustees by Governor Deval Patrick.
Mr. Howard, who initially joined the board in 2009, was sworn in for a new term during a brief ceremony at the college on January 22. In addition to his service at MWCC, Mr. Howard serves on the board of directors for Fidelity Bank and served for many years on the United Way of North Central Massachusetts board of directors, including as past chair.
"Mr. Howard is a remarkable civic and corporate leader," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. "His expertise in economic development and his commitment to community service are assets to Mount Wachusett Community College and our students, and we are delighted with his reappointment." Read more 

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Access and Transition Alumni Share College Experiences
Fitchburg High School alumni and administrators
Fitchburg High alumni and administrators.

College students who participated in MWCC's access and transition programs returned to their former high schools in January to share their insight into transitioning to college life. Panel discussions took place in several locations, including Fitchburg, Murdock and Athol high schools.

MWCC's Division of Access and Transition sponsored the events in conjunction with the schools' guidance departments. Many of the alumni were past participants of grant-funded college access & transition programs offered by MWCC, including Educational Talent Search, GEAR UP and Upward Bound Math and Science. The college students are now attending private and public colleges and universities of all sizes.

Murdock Middle/High School alumni
Murdock High School alumni.

"The alumni breakfasts are a great way for current high school students to learn from the recent experience of college students," said GEAR UP Director Drew Goodwin. "The message is much stronger when it comes from a peer."

Topics ranged from the college selection process to financial aid, study habits and dorm life. The size and location of schools factored heavily into many of the students' decisions, whether their preference was for a large college or small campus, close to home or further away.


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MART Bus Route Between MWCC and Athol/Orange Region Expanded

Residents who rely on MART transportation from Orange, Athol or Winchendon to Gardner will benefit from expanded bus service to the region following a request from Mount Wachusett Community College student leaders and the college administration.

The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority has extended G-Link service along Route 2 East and West by adding sixth route with 15 stops between the college and Orange. MART General Manager Phil Rocca said the new route was added January 15 following a request from MWCC's administration.

During a December meeting of the Student Government Association, students discussed the need for an expanded service with MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. He and other college officials approached MART, which enacted a new route to enhance service to students and other residents in the region who travel to the college and Gardner. The new route runs from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and makes 15 stops along the way. Prior to the change, many students had to remain on campus for longer than was necessary while waiting for a ride.

"We try to do anything we possibly can to help the community in any way we can, especially students who need to get to their schools," Rocca said.

Athol resident and SGA member Julie Graziano raised the issue during the meeting. SGA President Bridgette Woodcock said the students are pleased with the administration's response and quick solution with MART. "We have students who were hoping to catch buses with earlier departure and pick-up times," Woodcock said.

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Fitness & Wellness Center Hosts Healthy Bake-off
Win Brown and Mark Hawke
Heywood Hospital President and CEO Win Brown and Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke were among the event's judges.

 The Silver Sneakers program at MWCC's Fitness & Wellness Center hosted a "guiltless goodies bake off on Jan. 14, in collaboration with Heywood Hospital and Hannaford Supermarkets. Silver Sneakers coordinator Paula Magee organized the event for the community, with assistance from the center's staff.

Nearly two dozen entries were submitted. Karen Vadala-DeCharles,  Dot LaRoche and Leona Tate were the winners of the bake-off in three categories and received gift certificates to the Nu Café in Gardner.

Judges were Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke, Heywood Hospital President and CEO Win Brown, dietitians and nutritionists from Heywood Hospital and Hannaford Supermarket, including Denise Foresman, Doug Miller and Pat Hunter, as well as Framingham State University nutrition student Kelsey Magee.

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Upcoming Events 

AmeriCorps LogoInterested in a career in public service? Current members of the AmeriCorps and Commonwealth Corps organizations will discuss their experiences and the opportunities available on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the North Cafe. These short-term, volunteer experiences, open to anyone age 18 and above, can help build up a résumé, enhance professional skills and open doors to new career opportunities. Participants in these organizations receive stipends for their involvement. AmeriCorps is an opportunity to apply skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in the community. Each year, AmeriCorps offers 75,000 opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. The Commonwealth Corps engages Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds in service to strengthen communities, address unmet community needs and increase volunteerism. The information  session is sponsored by the AmeriCorps Job Ready program, a collaboration between Mount Wachusett Community College and Fitchburg State University. A second session will take place Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Hammond Campus Center at Fitchburg State University. For more information about the events, contact Nicole Mello at 978-630-9377 or


Congresswoman Niki Tsongas will host her Congress on Your Corner program on Thursday, January 24 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at MWCC. The event will be held in the James D. Murphy Conference Room and is open to the public. Congresswoman Tsongas started her Congress on Your Corner program shortly after her election. The program regularly takes her to venues in the district on weeknights and weekends to meet face to face with constituents. Congress on Your Corner offers the opportunity for Third District residents to share their thoughts with Congresswoman Tsongas regarding legislation in Congress and happenings in their community, as well as to seek assistance with any problem they may be having with a federal agency.


Mount Wachusett Community College will host a FAFSA Day Massachusetts event on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Gardner Campus. The event, one of 30 taking place statewide, will provide students and families with free assistance applying for financial aid for college. FAFSA Day Massachusetts, a College Goal Sunday Program, is a non-profit, volunteer driven program in its ninth year providing free assistance to students and families seeking to complete the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students, families, and adult learners who want help applying for financial aid for the 2013-2014 academic year should attend. Students and parents should each bring the following information: A FAFSA Personal Identification Number (PIN); Social Security number; driver's license number; most recent federal tax return; most recent W-2 form or year-end pay stub; untaxed income records; bank statement(s); business and investment records; and an alien registration card for non-US citizens. Students born before Jan. 1, 1990 do not need to bring parental information.
Registration is strongly encouraged. To register or for more information,
call 978-630-9169 or visit 

MWCC 50th anniversary MWCC's 50th Anniversary Celebration kicks off on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Come celebrate in the style of the 60s. The band Shakin' All Over will perform from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the South Café. Light refreshments will be served. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., have your picture taken in 60s style, with peace beads and groovy shades (while supplies last). The free is open to all MWCC students, faculty and staff and will mark the start of a year-long celebration.

The Spring Semester Welcome Back Fair, featuring free airbrush winter hats, personalized name posters, popcorn and the annual student club and information expo, will take place Thursday, Jan. 31 in the South Cafe. Novelty events will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the expo runs from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The free event is sponsored by the Student Life office and CATS (Campus Activities Team for Students).


Mardi Gras CarnivalThe annual Mardi Gras Carnival will take place Thursday, Feb. 7 from 6 to 10 p.m., featuring karaoke from 6 to 8 and dance from 8 to 10. $100 door prizes will be awarded hourly, and prizes of $100, $70 and $30 will be awarded for best costumes. Snacks and beverages will be available. The event is free for MWCC students, faculty and staff and a guest. Sponsored by the Student Life office and student clubs and organizations. 

MWCC is offering Information Sessions on several academic programs. Upcoming sessions will take place on the following dates: Dental Hygiene Programs: Jan. 30, 2 to 3 p.m., Gardner Campus, room 204; Clinical Laboratory Science: Jan. 28, 3:30 p.m., Gardner Campus room 214; Physical Therapist Assistant, Feb. 7, 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  

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