MWCC e-News

June 30, 2015

In This Issue
Massachusetts VA Secretary Francisco Urena Visits MWCC
MWCC Art Students Convert...Graffiti at Playground into Public Art
Myths, Monsters, and Modern Science: Shelley's Frankenstein Focus of Year Two MWCC Humanities Project
Retiring Fitness & Wellness Center Director Passes the Baton
MWCC Awarded $67,000 Grant to Support Student Scholarships
MWCC Promote Early childhood Literacy with $1,000 Book Donation
Greater Gardner Relay for Life Raises Hope and Funds for the ACS
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Massachusetts VA Secretary Urena Visits MWCC

Massachusetts VA Secretary Francisco Urena with MWCC Veteran Services Director Bob Mayer.

Mount Wachusett Community College welcomed Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Affairs Francisco A. Urena to its Gardner campus in June. The secretary met with President Daniel M. Asquino, toured the college's Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success with MWCC Veteran Services Director Bob Mayer, and met with a coalition of state educators who were on campus to discuss services for student veterans.


Secretary Urena, who was appointed to the position by Gov. Charlie Baker in January, said he was impressed with the college's array of support services for veterans, commitment to academic success, and construction and renovation projects underway. He is touring the state's community colleges with Steven R. Sullivan, Director of Grants and Workforce Development for the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office.


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MWCC Art Students Convert Graffiti at Playground into Public Art  

Mount Wachusett Community College art students partnered with the city of Gardner to transform a graffiti-covered wall into public art at the newly refurbished Jackson Playground. Since mid-May, five students have been working on their "Unplug and Play" mural conveying their message that children should put down the controllers and have fun at the playground. The 150-foot mural depicts Gardner scenes, ranging from the giant chair to the orange and black stripes of the Wildcats to the college's turbines.


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Myths, Monsters, and Modern Science: Shelley's Frankenstein Focus of Year Two MWCC Humanities Project
Like all great works of science fiction, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus,  
explores what it means to be human in a rapidly changing world. Published nearly 200 years ago when Shelley was just 20 years old, the novel's influence extends well beyond the literary domain into film, science and politics, making it an ideal for the second-year theme of MWCC Humanities Project. Faculty and staff recently met to plan upcoming course topics and community events. The project, which began last year with a community and cross-discipline study of Thoreau's Walden, is funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Retiring MWCC Fitness and Wellness Center Director Passes the Baton
After nearly two decades at the helm of the Mount Wachusett Community College Fitness & Wellness Center, Director Steve Washkevich is retiring at the end of June. Members of the college and fitness center community recently paid tribute to his 18 years of service and welcomed incoming center Director Jared Swerzenski. Washkevich, who was appointed a year after the facility was converted into a community fitness center, said the center appeals to patrons of all ages and fitness levels due to its large size, wide variety of program offerings, state-of-the-art equipment, indoor swimming pool, and personalized training.

MWCC Awarded $67,000 Grant to Support Student Scholarships
The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts has awarded a $67,000 grant to the MWCC Foundation to support student scholarships. "We are very grateful to the Community Foundation for this award and for its ongoing support for students as they pursue their academic and career goals," said President Daniel M. Asquino. "The vast majority of our students remain in the area after graduating to live and work, so this funding ultimately helps strengthen our local communities and enhance the economic vitality of our region."
MWCC Students Promote Early Childhood Literacy with $1,000 Book Donation 
Hundreds of kindergarten and first grade students at Waterford Street School ended the school year with fun summertime reading, thanks to a donation from a group of MWCC students. Members of Otaku United, a club that celebrates Asian culture, including art, language and anime, raised more than $1,000 during the spring semester by conducting a silent auction of a wide range of gift cards and items donated to the club to support the cause. Proceeds from the auction were used to purchase age-appropriate books for the students from the Scholastic Reading Club.

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Greater Gardner Relay for Life Raises Hope and Funds for the ACS

MWCC alumni, students, faculty and staff again joined thousands of volunteers for the annual Greater Gardner Relay for Life, a two-day, North Central Massachusetts outpouring of support and hope for cancer victims and survivors, and a community remembrance of loved ones who have passed. The Mount Walkers, represented by faculty and staff and their families, the MWCC Alumni Network, the Veterans Success Center, and the MWCC nursing program were among the college teams participating in the event, held June 12 and 13 on the track of the Gardner campus to support the American Cancer Society.


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