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The lines were long, the aromas were enticing and the world was represented at Winter Holiday Feast in the Dining Commons on Thursday December 8.

With stations serving ham and turkey, latkes and brisket, and an array of sweets including sweet potato pie for Kwanzaa, gingerbread cookies for Christmas, cinnamon babka for Hanukah and dates for Mawlid, an Islamic celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth, no one left hungry.

“I have worked on several events throughout the year with our Director of Dining Services Greg Gamwell, to celebrate culture and tell a story through the food served,” says James Dulin, Assistant Director, Social Justice & Inclusion. “Jeremy Tavares and the team in the dining commons have made this possible as they have put their all into the meals.”

Faculty and staff helped staff the food stations, ladling out macaroni and cheese, pouring gravy onto the full plates and helping the Mount Ida Community join together for a few hours of seasonal fun.

“Today was a great day,” says Gamwell. “The food was great and the ice sculpture was beautiful, but what I really enjoy seeing are the students,faculty and staff having a festive lunch together, enjoying each others’ company during the holiday season.”

A highlight, says Gamwell was seeing the faculty and staff volunteers. “Not only do the students enjoy seeing different, yet familiar faces behind the serving lines, my staff really enjoys interacting with the community at a whole new level! The volunteers really helped make the lunch exceptional for the Mount Ida community.”

If you missed it, says Dulin, stay tuned. “We will be having a few specialty meals next semester as well including one for the Haitian Carnival celebration.”

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Forty-five students, many first and second year, from the Mount Ida Dental Hygiene program participated in November’s Give Kids A Smile Day, a nation-wide program sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA), Henry Schein, Procter & Gamble, and DEXIS.  The students were responsible for patient and parent education on oral healthcare and were accompanied by Department Chair Denise Tetreault, and faculty Diana Tashjian and Corrine Kraemer.

More than 30 children from 19 families came to the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) for preventive and /or restorative dental services, valued at nearly $7,000, according to Kathy Lituri, the Boston University coordinator of the event. “I am confident that many of the families will be back and will strive to make GSDM/Pediatric Oral Health Care Center their child’s dental home,” Lituri said.

Mary Lou Walsh(l) with Dr. Mark Reed, Director of Health Services, Dartmouth College, former NECHA President.

Mary Lou Walsh(l) with Dr. Mark Reed, Director of Health Services, Dartmouth College, former NECHA President.

Mary Lou Walsh, ANP-BC, Nurse Practitioner in Health Services at the Wellness Center at Mount Ida College has been named this year’s recipient of the Louise Gazzara award, presented annually to honor a college nurse who has made outstanding contributions to his/her university/college, the profession or to the New England College Health Association (NECHA).

Walsh was recognized for her contributions to the students, staff and community and honored for her embodiment of the spirit of the Louise Gazzara award.

Her colleagues at Mount Ida, who nominated her for this distinction had this to say:

“Mary Lou has worked as a provider in college health for over 25 years, serving as a nurse practitioner at Mount Ida College. Mary Lou has become a vital part of the campus community at Mount Ida, and that’s due only in part to the excellent care she provides in our campus clinic. She also goes above and beyond the expectations of her position in order to support students and her colleagues.

Mary Lou is meticulous and thorough in her work and strives to give each student exemplary care. Her friendly and welcoming demeanor sets students at ease, and she often rearranges her schedule to squeeze in a walk-in or stay a bit later to see that last unexpected student of the day. She cares deeply about the health and well-being of the students at Mount Ida, and her commitment to her work shows it. She strives to improve her practice and collaborates frequently with the other nurse practitioners and the consulting physician in order to make sure that she’s utilizing best practices. She makes a point of attending the annual NECHA conference each year in pursuit of expanding knowledge in her specialty of college health.

Mary Lou is also an engaged member of the Mount Ida community. She frequently volunteers to participate in campus events- anything from Commencement to a study abroad trip to Peru that needed a last-minute chaperone.

We admire her dedication to the nursing profession and to Mount Ida. We can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the Louise Gazzara Award other than Mary Lou Walsh.”

The award was named in honor of Gazzara who retired after 25 distinguished years as Director of Nursing at Tufts University and who served as NECHA president in 1982.

Walsh received the honor during a ceremony at the NECHA annual meeting in Newport, Rhode Island.