MWCC e-News

Aug. 25, 2016

In This Issue
Jasson Alvarado Gomez Receives Key Leadership Appointments
New STEM Building and Haley Renovations Nearing Completion
Editorial: Multi-pronged Approach Needed to Curb Student Loan Debt
MWCC Awarded $1.18M Grant to Continue North Central Educational Opportunity Center
Project Healthcare Prepares for Year 2 in Fitchburg & Leominster Schools
12th Annual Leadership Academy Sets New Records
MWCC Celebrates Achievements of Upward Bound Math & Science Students
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Jasson Alvarado Gomez Receives Key Leadership Appointments

New Student Trustee Jasson Alvarado Gomez, with Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke, Board of Trustees Chair Tina Sbrega, and President Asquino.
MWCC student Jasson Alvarado Gomez has been appointed to two key leadership positions for the upcoming academic year. In August, the Media Arts & Technology major was appointed to the college's Board of Trustees, following a spring election by his peers. He also has been appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education as a full voting member representing all students attending the state's 29 colleges and universities.

"Jasson is making a tremendous difference in the lives of students and residents of our area through his active participation on campus and in the community," said President Asquino. "Being appointed to these two key positions is a wonderful achievement for him and I'm certain he will serve MWCC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the students, quite admirably."

An aspiring filmmaker, Alvarado Gomez is a 2015 graduate of MWCC's Gateway to College dual enrollment program in partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional High School, and previously attended Burncoat High School in Worcester.

At MWCC, he has served on the Student Government Association, as president of the ALANA Club, and on the Campus Activities Team for Students and SAGA organizations. He has served as a student ambassador and a volunteer for the United Way Day of Caring and the SGA annual food drive, and is a recipient of the Gateway Community Service Award.

New STEM Building and Haley Renovations Nearing Completion
Construction of our new STEM building and improvements to the Haley Academic Center are quickly wrapping up. The second half of August saw a flurry of activity as the contractor, Shawmut Design and Construction, completed phases of the work and unveiled sections of the buildings that had previously been hidden behind temporary walls.

Multi-pronged Approach Needed to Curb Student Loan Debt - Telegram & Gazette editorial by President Asquino and QCC President Carberry
The bright red cover of the August issue of Consumer Reports features this prominent quote: "I kind of ruined my life by going to college." These are the words of 32-year-old registered nurse Jackie Krowen of Portland, Oregon. Ms. Krowen, it seems, has $152,000 in student loan debt. Even with a good job, her debt seems insurmountable. She explains, "Buying a house isn't an option ... and the idea of having a family seems financially impossible." She fears it will be that way for the rest of her life. This would be sad even if Jackie was the exception rather than the rule, but that is not the case. Her story is repeated over and over again across these United States. The article notes that 42 million people now owe $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.

MWCC Awarded $1.18M Grant to Continue North Central Educational Opportunity Center
The North Central Educational Opportunity Center (NCEOC) at MWCC has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue providing adults in the region with comprehensive services to successfully transition to college or other postsecondary education. The college was awarded $236,900 for the first year of a five-year grant totaling $1.18 million. The NCEOC, housed within the Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development, was created in 2002 to provide support for first generation college students and those with income challenges, Educational Opportunity Center programs are one of the nationwide TRIO programs created through federal legislation more than 40 years ago.

Project Healthcare Prepares for Year 2 in Fitchburg & Leominster High Schools
Incoming freshmen at Fitchburg and Leominster's public high schools will have an opportunity to join a program administered by MWCC that prepares students for careers in the healthcare field. In November, MWCC was awarded a five-year, $2.25 million federal grant to create the Project Healthcare program in collaboration with Fitchburg High School, Leominster High School and Leominster Center for Technical Education Innovation. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health, is helping to address a national initiative to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

Record Number of Students, Service Projects, Mark 12th Annual Leadership Academy
MWCC's 12th annual Summer Leadership Academy is one for the records. Sponsored by the office of Student Life, the two-day event for incoming students saw a record number of participants, a record number of service projects and a record number of backpacks donated to children in need. Nearly 80 incoming students participated this year, up from 47 a year ago. The Leadership Academy helps prepare students for the start of the new academic year and provides a half-day of volunteerism on campus and in the community.

MWCC Celebrates Achievements of Upward Bound Math & Science Students
More than two dozen high school students participated in the Upward Bound Math & Science program's six-week residential component, which took place this summer at Fitchburg State University and included academic courses, extracurricular activities, career exploration and field trips. The students were recognized for their academic success during an awards ceremony on Aug. 4. The UBMS program is offered to students who have an aptitude for math and science and are in grades 9 through 12 at Gardner High School, Athol High School and Murdock Middle/Senior High School in Winchendon.

Upcoming Events
  • Advanced Manufacturing Info Sessions: Thursdays, Devens Campus
  • New & Transfer Student Orientation: Sept. 1, Gardner Campus
  • Welcome Back Fall Fest & BBQ: Sept. 14, Gardner Campus

For information about upcoming events, click here.

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