MWCC e-News

May 17, 2016

In This Issue
MWCC's 29 Who Shine Award Recipient Bella Ballin Recognized at State House Ceremony
MWCC Honors Outstanding Students During Evening of Excellence Awards Celebration
MWCC Student Rafaela Lopes Receives National Newman Civic Fellows Award
Raymond J. Martino to Receive MWCC's 2016 Service Above Self Award
MWCC Goes Hollywood with Premiere of "Black Diamond"
Pinning Ceremony Caps Achievements of Dental Program Graduates
MWCC Students Nominated to Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team
61 Students Inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
MWCC Student Veterans Receive Continued Support from Local VFW
Summer Programs for Kids & Teens
Upcoming Events
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MWCC's 29 Who Shine Award Recipient Bella Ballin Recognized at State House Ceremony
At just 18, graduating scholar Bella Ballin has already reached many milestones. Last week, as MWCC's recipient of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education's "29 Who Shine" award, she achieved another.

"I fist-bumped the governor and that was the highlight of my day," she said with a smile.

Ballin, who will graduate from MWCC on May 18 with an associate degree in Liberal Arts: Chemical Science, and on May 20 with her high school diploma through the college's Pathways Early College Innovation School, was among the 29 public college and university honorees recognized during the sixth annual celebration at the State House. She and her MWCC mentor, Academic Counselor Natalie Mercier of the Division of Access & Transition, were recognized by Gov. Charlie Baker and top education officials during the May 9 ceremony.

Diagnosed at age 16 with Multiple Sclerosis, Ballin chose to accelerate the pace of her education by tapping into the opportunities available through MWCC's unique Pathways program, which has allowed her to simultaneously earn her high school diploma and an associate degree at no cost through school choice funding.

"Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and I congratulate all 29 of the 2016 award recipients and thank them for their substantial contributions to their campuses and local communities," Governor Baker said. "Each of the 29 Who Shine honorees represent our future citizenry and workforce and have already made a positive impact on the Commonwealth."

MWCC Honors Outstanding Students During Evening of Excellence Awards Celebration
MWCC celebrated the academic achievements of extraordinary students during its annual Evening of Excellence awards dinner May 12 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Leominster. Students were recognized for their academic performance as well as for their contributions in the community.

MWCC Student Rafaela Lopes Receives National Newman Civic Fellows Award
For her dedication and commitment to serving others, MWCC student Rafaela Lopes has been presented with Campus Compact's national 2016 Newman Civic Fellows Award. Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. 

Raymond J. Martino to Receive MWCC's 2016 Service Above Self Award
Community leader and long-serving volunteer Raymond J. Martino is the recipient of MWCC's 2016 Service Above Self Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions within the 29 cities and towns that make up the college's service area. Mr. Martino, president and CEO of Simonds International, Inc. and chair of the MWCC Foundation, will be recognized during the college's 51st commencement on May 18.

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MWCC Goes Hollywood with the Premiere of "Black Diamond"
Budding filmaker Jasson Alvarado Gomez rolled out the red carpet for a Hollywood style evening for the premiere of his feature-length film "Black Diamond." Alvarado Gomez, who wrote, recorded and edited the drama was joined by an entourage of actors, production crew, paparazzi and approximately 200 students and community members for the May 5 event.

"It's a very ambitious project for him," said Assistant Professor of MRT Jim O'Connell. "He did it completely on his own time by taking advantage of the resources available at the school, which is great on his part, and great for the school to be able to offer. Using modern technology like this, a guy just starting out like Jasson can produce a finished product that isn't too far from what you would see in a genuine Indy movie."

Pinning Ceremony Caps Achievements of Dental Program Graduates 
Graduates of MWCC's Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs were welcomed into the profession during the department's 10th annual pinning ceremony on May 13 in the South Café. Over the past year, the dental hygiene and dental assisting students treated more than 800 patients through the college's partnership with the Community Health Center.

MWCC Students Nominated to Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team
Two MWCC students, Jana Murphy and Chelsea Garrity, were recognized for their academic excellence for the All-Massachusetts Academic Team of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society during a ceremony at the State House in Boston. Secretary of Education Jim Peyser delivered the special keynote focusing on the value of students who strive for excellence.

61 MWCC Students Inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
MWCC's Phi Delta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society inducted 61 new members and presented donations to community organizations from funds raised through a variety of events this academic year. During the May 5 induction ceremony, the chapter presented checks of $500 each to the Gardner Community Action Council, the Winchendon Community Action Council, and the student-run Students Serving Our Students (SOS) mentor program at MWCC.

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MWCC Student Veterans Receive Continued Support from Local VFW
The Ovila Case Post 905 Veterans of Foreign Wars recently donated $1,000 to Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation's Veterans Memorial Scholarship. President Daniel Asquino, Foundation Executive Director Carla Zottoli, and Director of Veteran Services Bob Mayer accepted the generous donation from VFW Commander Joseph LeBlanc and past Commander and MWCC alumnus Donald Progen,

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MWCC Summer Programs for Kids & Teens
Each summer, nearly 800 children and teenagers from throughout the region participate in MWCC's Adventure Academy. This year, the college is offering more than 30 classes and sports programs between June 27 and Aug. 5.

Upcoming Events
  • 51st Commencement Ceremony: May 18
  • Nurse Pinning Ceremony: May 19
  • Gateway and Pathways Graduation: May 20
  • Greater Gardner Relay for Life: June 10 & 11

For information about upcoming events, click here.


Janice O'Connor
Director of Public Relations
Mount Wachusett Community College
978-630-9547