November 2009

Update: 2009-2010 Flu Season at WPI

Dear Parents,

This is an unprecedented flu season. Here in Massachusetts and across the country, we are dealing with two different types of flu—the regular seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu.

Vaccine manufacturers are producing vaccines against both types of flu. This has never been done before, so there have been some challenges in the production and distribution of the vaccines. As a result, all states have received much smaller amounts of H1N1 vaccine than we were told to expect.

We will be vaccinating people for H1N1 flu. (However, we have not yet received as much vaccine as we ordered.)

The vaccine is free of charge.

Because there are not enough doses for everyone who wants to be vaccinated, the vaccine will be given to the most at-risk populations—pregnant women, children, and caregivers of infants less than 6 months of age, and health care providers with direct patient contact.

Once most of these people are vaccinated, young adults up to the age of 24, and adults between the ages of 25 to 64 with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes will be prioritized. Eventually, there will be enough vaccine for all that wish to receive it.

We understand and share in your frustration and ask for your patience during this challenging flu season.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Thank you. 

Regina Roberto MSN APRN-BC
Director WPI Health Services
Health Center website

The Current Flu Status @ WPI

Dear WPI Community,

As the flu season progresses, we are working closely with city and state public health offices to monitor flu conditions. In an effort to keep you updated with new information as it becomes available, I wanted to let you know that since the beginning of the academic year, there have been a total of 113 Influenza-like Illness (ILI)-related cases reported to WPI Health Services. These cases have not been confirmed to be H1N1, however, they are assumed to be. A total of two laboratory confirmed cases of H1N1 have been reported to WPI Health Services since the fall flu season started. There appears to be no pattern in all of the cases of the individuals who have become ill.

Regarding the H1N1 vaccine, WPI will hold vaccination clinics for the campus community as soon as we receive vaccine shipments. In the meantime, WPI Health Services has a supply of the pneumococcal vaccine as a preventative measure for individuals who are at high risk for H1N1 or an ILI. In addition, your doctor may prescribe an "antiviral" for treating both seasonal and H1N1 flu. Antivirals can make you better faster and may also prevent serious complications. This flu season, antiviral drugs are being used mainly to treat people who are very sick, such as people who need to be hospitalized; and to treat sick people who are more likely to get serious flu complications. Your health care provider will decide whether antiviral drugs are needed to treat your illness. Remember, most people with H1N1 have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs, and the same is true of seasonal flu.

It is important to take everyday preventative actions to protect yourself against the flu. This flu season has months left to go. The most effective tool for safeguarding our collective health is vigilance in preventing illness, and taking exceptional care in the event of illness. We ask all members of the WPI community diagnosed with ILI or H1N1 to self-isolate until at least 24 hours after their fever breaks (without the aid of fever-reducing medication). WPI also reminds everyone to follow the CDC's tips for prevention:

  • Wash your hands often, or use disinfectants if access to soap and water is limited;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow if you do not have a tissue;
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially after contact with others;
  • Keep a 6-foot [two-meter] distance between yourself and anyone who is ill.

For the most up-to-date information on the flu, visit WPI's H1N1 website,, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).

Please take care of yourself, and keep yourself informed during this difficult flu season.

Best regards,

Janet Begin Richardson
Vice President, WPI Student Affairs and Campus Life

WPI Announces Plans for a New Recreation Center


Financial Aid

The WPI Office of Financial Aid will be distributing the 2010-11 Upperclass Application for financial aid in the main lobby of the Campus Center during the first two weeks of December.

The forms will be distributed on December 2, December 8, and December 10 between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Reminders of these dates will be emailed to students' WPI email addresses. This form should be completed by any student that will be a sophomore, junior, or senior in the 2010-11 academic year and will be applying for financial aid.

Academic Advising

Spring registration for C- and D-Term courses will begin for first year students on Monday, November 16. There will be departmental advising open houses as well as the website Designs II to help students with their course selections. The Academic Advising Office staff and students’ Insight faculty advisors are also available to answer any questions that students may have about their course selections and to offer advice.

Grades have been posted for A-Term. If your student has struggled or is struggling now, please encourage them to come into the Advising Office for assistance.

Fall Commencement Exercises

During WPI’s Fall Commencement exercises on October 22, 2009, in Alden Memorial, PhD, master's and bachelor’s degrees were awarded, marking the culmination of these new graduates’ studies at WPI. As WPI continues to see increasing numbers of students taking advantage of co-ops, internships, and offcampus project work, the Fall Commencement ceremony is a way to recognize our students who complete their degrees after the traditional Spring Commencement.

For parents planning for the spring, Commencement weekend is scheduled for Friday-Saturday, May 14- 15, 2010. Friday focuses on the inspirational Baccalaureate Program, an hour-long program designed by members of the senior class, featuring musical performances, speeches, and reminiscences from members of the Class of 2010. The formal Commencement exercises are set for Saturday at 11:00 am on the Quadrangle. Visit the Commencement website to learn more about the WPI Commencement Weekend.

Residential Services

Applications to be a residential advisor (RA) are available in Residential Services. Please encourage your son or daughter to stop by an information session on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 5 pm in the Campus Center Hagglund Room or Tues. Dec. 3, at noon in the East Hall Conference Room.


Information Commons: Renovation Update

The next time you visit WPI, you'll be surprised when you walk into the library. We have created new, engaging and flexible spaces on the main entrance level meant to dynamically link multimedia and technology to research and teaching. see the images of concept design.

The newly designed spaces are extremely popular with students. One of our goals—to create an integrated service area for students—has begun to be realized with the move of Academic Technology Center’s Teaching for Technology and Learning staff onto the main entrance level. The synergy with IT staff at WPI will continue as we enter into Phase III of the project. By summer 2010 the Technology Help Desk will move in, creating a one-stop area for technology and research support.

A current goal of the library is to cultivate innovation by changing the social and technical climate in the facility. This is already evidenced by the daily project and course work students are engaged in within the building. We have increased our evening hours to respond to student requests. The new collaborative spaces, tech suites, and laptop loans are in high demand.

We are working with students who are providing us input through focus groups and our student advisory committee to gain a better understanding of how they envision the library of the future. One of their desires is to provide a small café in the information commons area.

For additional information see the WPI Library renovation web site.

If you have questions, contact Tracey Leger-Hornby, Assistant Vice President for Library Services at or +1-508.831.5058.

Career Development Center

The Career Development Center is here to assist all students with their career goals. Please encourage your son or daughter to stop by our office located in the lower level of the Project Center for individual assistance. November/December are Job Search and Interviewing months in the CDC.

Upcoming Job Search and Interviewing Programming

Dec 2, Acing Your Interview, 6pm, SL105

Dec 8, Job Search Strategies, 4pm, SL105

Walk-in Meetings with a Counselor

If students have a quick question or want a resume critiqued, they may meet with a counselor for a 15- minute appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 1 and 3pm.

Has your son or daughter activated a Job Finder account?

Job Finder is a comprehensive system that houses job postings, on-campus recruiting, information on employers attending the career fairs, career-related handouts, career-related podcasts, and much more. Encourage your student to activate a Job Finder account today! To activate an account: Job Finder.

Save the dates!

Feb 18, Summer Internship & Job Fair

March 25, Biotechnology & Bioengineering Career Fair

WPI Parents Fund

A special part of the fundraising effort at WPI, the Parents Fund is made up of gifts from parents of current students and alumni. Through the WPI Parents Fund, families may give to the highest priorities of the university, supporting investments in student life, faculty teaching and research, and financial aid. Last year, more than 630 parents made gifts to WPI totaling over $83,000 that went to work immediately, further enriching their students’ WPI experience. To date, more than 260 parents have shown this additional support of a WPI education with over $33,000 in gifts.

For more information about the WPI Parents Fund, or if you would like to make a gift, please visit Parents Fund website.

Stay informed about WPI

As parents or guardians of WPI students, you are in the midst of very exciting times in your student’s life. While here, students put their classroom learning to work in real-world situations, and our faculty prepare them to be leaders and innovators. We know that much of your children’s past successes are due to the support and guidance you have given them, beginning in their early years and continuing today. We are honored you are now entrusting them to us for the next steps. While our students have contact with us on a daily basis, their parents and guardians have direct contact with us only occassionally. Let us keep you informed of WPI news, regional events, and parent activities. Complete the family information form, using the link below, if you have not already done so, to stay connected to WPI. Thank you!

Family Information Form

We are confident that these years will be rewarding for your entire family. We look forward to seeing you on campus soon!


Men’s Athlete of the Week

Kevin Ducharme - Men’s Soccer - Sophomore - Bedford, NH

Men's soccer midfielder Kevin Ducharme is the WPI Men's Athlete of the Week for the week ending November 8. Ducharme made his first goal of the season a memorable one as he successfully converted a penalty kick with just 2:26 remaining in regulation to propel WPI to a dramatic 2-1 victory over visiting MIT in a NEWMAC Men's Soccer Tournament quarterfinal on Wednesday. Then, the sophomore's long throw-in set up a key goal for the fourth-seeded Engineers as they attempted to overcome a 2-0 deficit in a NEWMAC semifinal matchup at topseeded Babson. WPI went on to lose the match 2-1, ending its season. Ducharme wrapped up his fall campaign with a goal and four assists. 

Women’s Athlete of the Week

Morgan Guardino - Women’s Swimming and Diving - Junior - Manchester, CT

Junior diver Morgan Guardino is the WPI Women’s Athlete of the Week for the week ending November 8. The junior won both the one-meter and three-meter dives to lead the Engineers, who suffered a 159-126 loss at Keene State in women's swimming and diving action on Saturday afternoon. Guardino's victories in the one-meter (215.25) and three-meter (223.29) dives provided 18 points to WPI in a losing effort.

Football (3-6 overall, 0-6 Liberty League)

Susquehanna rallied from an early two touchdown deficit to defeat visiting WPI 35-21 in Liberty League football action on Saturday afternoon. WPI signal caller Mike Swanton (Foxboro, MA) threw for one score and ran for another as WPI slipped to 3-6 overall and 0-6 in conference play. The Engineers jumped out to a 21-7 advantage with two-yard touchdown runs by Ernie Mello (Wilmington, MA) and Swanton sandwiched between a Scott Brady (Westboro, MA) 11- yard TD reception. Susquehanna ripped off the game's final 28 points however, en route to setting a showdown next week with Union for the Liberty League crown. The Crusaders are now 7-2 on the year and 5-1 in their third and final season in Liberty League. Brendan Gove (Rutland, MA), Chris Boudreau (Rensselaer, NY) and John Perron (Auburn, MA) all notched six tackles for the Engineers, while Jack Mulhern (Worcester, MA) and Todd LeClerc (Middleton, MA) each chipped in with five. The Engineers outgained Susquehanna 402-304 and enjoyed a 33:04-26:52 edge in time of possession but were doomed by five turnovers (three fumbles and two interceptions) on the day. Swanton was 15-of-31 passing for 200 yards and rushed 22 times for 74 yards. Aaron Champagne (Fairfield, ME) amassed 76 yards on the ground on 14 carries while R.C. Grady (Shirley, MA) grabbed six receptions for 97 yards. His final catch was his 100th of his career, making him the seventh player in program to reach the milestone. The Engineers will close out their 2009 season next Saturday when they host St. Lawrence at noon.

Men’s Soccer (10-7-1 overall, 2-3-1 NEWMAC)

Kevin Ducharme (Bedford, MA) made his first goal of the season a memorable one as he successfully converted a penalty kick with just 2:26 remaining in regulation to propel WPI to a dramatic 2-1 victory over visiting MIT in a NEWMAC Men's Soccer Tournament quarterfinal on Wednesday. The hosts were awarded the penalty kick when Thomas Cucinotta (Easton, MA), who had slipped beyond the defenders, was taken down just to the left of the penalty spot. Ducharme’s shot went to the lower right corner and was his second career marker. MIT (8-9) opened the scoring in the fifth minute before WPI answered back midway through the first half. Mike Ford (Whitman, MA) connected with Tommy Zajac (Merrimack, NH) on a nifty onetouch, who split the defense with a pass to Jason Hopkins (Mendon, MA). Hopkins beat the MIT goalie to the lower left for his team-leading 11th marker of the season at 24:40. WPI netminder Paul Moan (Watertown, MA) was called upon to make five saves on the night. Men’s soccer bowed out of the tournament on Saturday, falling to top-seeded host Babson 2-1 in the tournament semifinals on Saturday. With the win, the Beavers advance to their fourth straight conference championship game, while WPI finishes its season with a record of 10-7-1. In a game dominated by defense and midfield play, the two squads combined for just six shots on net. The Beavers, who held a 16-9 shot advantage overall, broke through first at the 33-minute mark, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead that they would eventually carry into the break. Babson doubled its lead in the 60th minute. WPI pulled back to within one with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, as Cucinotta took a cross from Zajac on the left side and poked it in for his second goal of the season at 80:14. The goal was setup by Ducharme's long throw in. However, that would be all the Babson defense would allow, as the Beavers blocked the Engineers' lone shot in the final nine minutes to clinch the 2-1 victory. Moan stopped two shots in net for WPI.

Volleyball (22-7 overall, 3-6 NEWMAC)

WPI dropped a NEWMAC quarterfinals match to Wellesley this week, 3-0, ending its 2009 campaign. The Engineers close out their season at 22-8. The 22 wins are the fourth most in program history and the highest in 21 years. The Blue opened a 6-1 lead in set one, but WPI quickly trimmed the lead to 6-5 with a kill and an ace from Bailey Sarber (Westerly, RI) and a kill from Belinda Nwagbara (Santa Rosa, CA). Wellesley maintained a slim lead to 11-9, then snagged six straight points to take a 17-9 advantage. A kill from WPI's Becca Holmberg (Madison, CT) stopped the bleeding, but Wellesley won eight of the next 10 points to take the first set 25-12. Set two began evenly, with three ties before Wellesley took a narrow 7-5 edge. The Blue then went on a five-point run to take a 12-5 lead. WPI rallied with two kills from Holmberg and one from Nwagbara to trim the lead to 15-11, but Wellesley took ten of the next eleven points to capture game two, 25-12. The Engineers took an early 4-2 lead in game three with another kill from Sarber and an ace from Kerrin Beovich (Seaford, NY). Wellesley answered with a four-point serving run to take a 6-4 advantage, but the game stayed close until Wellesley opened a narrow 13-10 edge midway throughout the set. Another four-point run from Peng gave the Blue 19-11 lead, and the hosts cruised to a 25-16 win to seal the match. Holmberg and Nwagbara led the Engineers with six kills each, while Sarber pitched in three. Joan Porambo (Jim Thorpe, PA) led the team with 11 digs, and Holmberg added seven. Kim Woodward (Clifton Park, NY) and Alex Rangel (Weston, FL) shared setting duties, recording eight and five assists, respectively.

Field Hockey (11-6 overall, 5-3 NEWMAC)

After a week off following a loss in the NEWMAC Tournament to Springfield, the Field Hockey team will receive word on Monday if its season will continue. The Engineers are hoping to receive a bid in the ECAC New England Division Championships, which would begin on Wednesday.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country

The Engineers took the weekend off to prepare for the New England NCAA regionals. The Crimson and Gray head to Gorham, ME for the event on Saturday, hosted by Southern Maine.

Men’s Swimming and Diving

Freshman Eric Spazzarini (Enfield, CT) posted two first-place finishes and two second-place results to lead WPI in a 157-127 defeat at Keene State in men's swimming and diving action on Saturday afternoon. Spazzarini took home victories in the 100-yard backstroke (57.49) and 400- yard individual medley (4:30.22), while finishing second in the 200-yard backstroke (2:05.29) and as part of the 200-yard medley relay along with Lee Chiang (Lexington, MA), Alford Green (Portmore, Jamaica) and Steve Rose (Worcester, MA) (1:47.28). Diver Dave Cancel (Chicopee, MA) was second in the one-meter dive (166.95) but was victorious in the three-meter dive (134.25). Chiang also contributed a second-place finish in both the 50-yard freestyle (22.72) and 100-yard freestyle (49.57). Andrew Lybarger (Atlanta, GA) turned in three second-place results on the day, finishing as the runner-up in the 200-yard freestyle (1:52.47), 100-yard butterfly (55.06) and 50-yard butterfly (55.13). The relay team of Chiang, Rose, Lybarger and Carl Curran (Keene, NH) took home first-place in the last event of the day, the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:31.67). The Engineers travel to Babson on Saturday for their next meet beginning at 1pm.

Women’s Swimming and Diving

Junior diver Morgan Guardino (Manchester, CT) won both the one-meter and three-meter dives to lead the Engineers, who suffered a 159-126 loss at Keene State in women's swimming and diving action on Saturday afternoon. Guardino's victories in the one-meter (215.25) and threemeter (223.29) dives provided 18 points to WPI in a losing effort. Senior Karen O'Sullivan (Pelham, NH) also took home two wins on the afternoon, finishing first in the 400-yard individual medley (5:17.20) and teaming up with Alexandra Sanz-Guerrero (Ann Arbor, MI), Heather Peruffo (Poughkeepsie, NY) and Kaitlyn Kelley (Salt Lake City, UT) to take a top finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:52.77). Peruffo also earned a second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke (1:06.08) and 50-yard butterfly (29:59), while O'Sullivan was second in the 100-yard butterfly (1:06.92). Kelley also took home a second-place result in the 50-yard freestyle (27.70) and Sanz-Guerrero turned in a second-place effort in the 100-yard free (1:01.74). The Engineers travel to Babson on Saturday for their next meet beginning at 1pm.

Men’s Basketball

Men’s Basketball opens the 2009-2010 season by hosting the Worcester County Classic. The Engineers entertain Becker on Sunday, November 15th at 5pm in an opening round contest. The other match-up features Nichols and Worcester State. The championship and consolation games are slated for Monday, November 16th.

Women’s Basketball

Women’s Basketball, under the tutelage of 10th year head coach Cherise Galasso, kicks off its 2009-2010 campaign on Sunday, November 15th. WPI hosts regional power Brandeis at 1pm.


The WPI Wrestling team beings its 2009-2010 season on Saturday, November 14th. The Engineers head to Bristol, RI where they will participate in the Roger Williams Invitational. Former teammates Lance Baden and Rob Polin are the co-head coaches.

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