Daniel M. Asquino, PhD

President, Mount Wachusett Community College

The INSIGHT Into Diversity Giving Back Award honors college presidents and chancellors who go above and beyond their everyday duties to give back to their institutions and communities. President Asquino was nominated by colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity as a 2016 Giving Back Award recipient for his dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion and encouraging community service both on his campus and in the surrounding community. 

Civic Involvement
Member of the New England College Council; chair of the Massachusetts Community College Council’s Labor Relations Committee and Distance Education Committee

Building the Pipeline
The Division of Access and Transition Asquino founded nearly two decades ago offers 18 programs to ease the transition into postsecondary education and improve career readiness for first-generation, low-income, and minority middle and high school students. The division will also administer Mount Wachusett Community College’s (MWCC) recently received $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a Workforce Diversity Pipeline program at two high schools in the region.

Campus Community Service
Over the past 15 years, Asquino has fervently worked to integrate civic engagement into the college culture as well as the greater community. In 2001, he declared a “Decade of Civic Engagement” and commissioned a team to integrate service learning into course objectives and community-based programs. Through MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, students now collectively contribute approximately 144,000 service hours each year.

Long-term Commitment
Asquino has been president of MWCC since 1987, making him the longest-serving public higher education president in Massachusetts.

Nomination Excerpt
“President Asquino has remained committed to nurturing an inclusive environment that strives to ensure the college experience is one that challenges, empowers, supports, and prepares students to live in and value our increasingly global and diverse world. A visionary leader [who takes] an ‘anything is possible’ approach to education, Asquino has implemented numerous large-scale programs on campus and in the community, yet is known to also seek tailored solutions for hardworking, determined individuals, including new immigrants seeking an education and opportunity. Because these students are ineligible for financial aid, he has worked with private donors to raise scholarship money for them. Asquino [is] driven by the belief that education is society’s great equalizer and recognizes the vital correlation between building healthy communities by preparing an educated workforce.”