MWCC e-News

Sept. 12, 2016

In This Issue
A Message From President Asquino
MWCC Begins Academic Year with Unveiling of Campus Expansion and Renovations
MWCC Ready to Assist ITT Tech Students
MWCC Humanities Project Enters Third Year with "Imagining Work"
Baker-Polito Administration Launches State-of-the-Art College Pathways Portal
Community Service Project Commemorates 15th Anniversary of 9/11
MWCC, Laboure College, Partnering to Create Educational Opportunities for Nurses
Paintings by Professor John Pacheco on Exhibit at MWCC's East Wing Gallery
Growing Places Gardner Project Honors MWCC for Civic Engagement
Upcoming Events
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A Message from President Asquino
It hardly seems possible that three decades have passed since I first arrived at Mount Wachusett Community College. Yet a look back at the many innovative programs, initiatives and events that have transpired provides proof that we, as a college community, have not only grown, but are blazing a trail into the future.

Over the past 18 months we have witnessed the transformation of our main campus in Gardner, with the addition of our new, 44,000-square-foot science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building, as well as extensive renovations to the Haley Academic Center and Theatre at the Mount.

This week we began the academic year welcoming students into our new advising center, refurbished dining areas and ample gathering places.

Our state-of-the-art science and technology building will well serve our future medical professionals, engineers, research scientists and others working in the STEM fields, as well as provide enhanced academic opportunities for students of all majors. In the coming weeks, faculty and students will move into the new classrooms and laboratory spaces, and we look forward to welcoming the greater community to tour our new facilities during an open house this fall.

In addition to unveiling our campus upgrades, we begin this academic year with several new transfer opportunities and new courses of study, including new certificate programs in substance abuse counseling, community health, and public relations, which are designed to meet employers' needs in our region.

The year ahead also provides many community-focused events, from exhibits in our East Wing Gallery to theatre performances and informative presentations. We'll also begin the third year of the MWCC Humanities Project. Funded through a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, events and activities will take place on campus and in the community with an artistic focus on the theme, "Imagining Work."

I encourage members of our college community and the greater community to join us in celebrating another new year of innovation.
MWCC Begins Academic Year with Unveiling of Campus Expansion & Renovations
Students began the academic year amid a sea of change at MWCC's Gardner campus following more than a year of construction and extensive renovations. The college welcomed more than 1,000 new students, who got an early look at the campus' transformation during day, evening and program-specific orientations held in advance of the new academic year that began Sept. 6. Enhancements include significant changes to the Haley academic building and Theatre at the Mount, along with a new 44,000-square-foot science and technology building. The college will transition into the new STEM building this month.

MWCC Ready to Assist ITT Tech Students
In response to the sudden closing of all 137 campuses of the ITT Technical Institute, including two in Massachusetts, Mount Wachusett Community College is working with the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office and other state and federal agencies to assist affected students with their academic pursuits. The community colleges are also ready to partner with the U.S. Department of Education, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, and the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office to assist these former ITT students, the MCCEO has affirmed.

MWCC Humanities Project Enters Third Year with "Imagining Work"
Following an inaugural year with Henry David Thoreau and last year's examination of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the Mount Wachusett Community College Humanities Project will begin its third year this fall with an artistic focus on "Imagining Work." During the upcoming academic year, students, faculty, staff and members of the greater community will delve into the many ways artists, writers and photographers have expressed the changing nature of work over the past 150 years. From farm to factory in the 19th century to our present-day knowledge economy, the effects of automation, globalization, immigration, war, and race on the identity of the American worker will be explored. A variety of events scheduled at the college and in the community are free and open to the public

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Baker-Polito Administration Launches State-of-the-Art College Pathways Portal
Massachusetts students and families now have access to a new, full-service web portal that will allow them to explore a wide range of academic offerings at the state's public colleges and universities and chart a course to an affordable bachelor's degree through transfer from a community college to a state university or University of Massachusetts campus, the Baker-Polito Administration has announced. The new MassTransfer web portal will, for the first time, allow the Commonwealth's high school and college students to identify and compare a wide range of degree programs, transfer options, and college costs at all undergraduate campuses. They will be able to see what is required to transfer seamlessly between campuses, including course-by course "degree maps" available for some majors.
Community Service Project Commemorates 15th Anniversary of 9/11
MWCC student volunteers are collecting notes of appreciation for first responders in the region who put their lives in jeopardy for the sake of others, as a way of honoring the nearly 3,000 victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. For the second year, the activity was coordinated by the college's Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success and the Student Leaders in Civic Engagement (SLICE) program, an initiative of MWCC's Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

MWCC, Labouré College, Partnering to Create Educational Opportunities for Nurses
Labouré College and Mount Wachusett Community College are partnering to support the continuing education of local nurses. The colleges have established a transfer agreement providing licensed practical nurses (LPNs) graduating from Mount Wachusett Community College a pathway to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Labouré College and obtain licensure as registered nurses.

Paintings by Professor John Pacheco on Exhibit at MWCC's East Wing Gallery
An exhibition of recent abstract paintings by MWCC Professor John Pacheco is on display in the college's East Wing Gallery through October 4. "Painting abstractly, I can compose using color in ways that my previous attachment to figuration wouldn't permit. The paintings exist like a piece of music - evocative rather than specific," Pacheco said about the collection. Titles, such as "Flaming Caterpillar," "Day at the Beach," "Resurrection" and "Arachnophobia" compensate for the lack of narrative. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Growing Places Garden Project Honors MWCC for Civic Engagement
MWCC's Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement was recognized with a Rooted Volunteer award from Growing Places Garden Project for its ongoing commitment to matching student volunteers with the nonprofit organization. The Rooted Volunteer award is given to a longstanding partner that has worked with the nonprofit organization over many years and in this capacity has made a significant contribution to its work. For more than six years, MWCC has partnered with Growing Places to provide a capacity building grant, pairing numerous students with urgent community service deadlines with Growing Places' volunteer projects.

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Upcoming Events
  • Advanced Manufacturing Info Sessions: Thursdays, Devens Campus
  • Welcome Back Fall Fest & BBQ: Sept. 14, Gardner Campus
  • 2016 MA Soils Conference: Sept. 23, Gardner Campus
  • Fall Film Fest, Gardner campus

For information about upcoming events, click here.

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