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Governor Patrick appoints 3 new GCC Board of Trustees

Posted on Thursday March 7th 2013

Governor Deval Patrick has appointed three new members to the Greenfield Community College Board of Trustees – Patricia Crosby, Executive Director of the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board; Mary Clare Higgins, Executive Director of Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions; and, Amy Holich-Dunn, Assistant Director for Programs and Events, Office of Alumnae Relations at Smith College. Holich-Dunn has served as a member of the GCC Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2009 and is the Alumni Representative to the GCC Board of Trustees. Holich-Dunn was elected by the Alumni Association and appointed to the Board by Governor Patrick. The term of each of the three new trustees runs until March 1, 2017.

Commenting on the new Trustees, GCC President Bob Pura said, “Each of these three bring a depth and breadth of experience along with great intelligence and heart. The journey of each of these three leaders has brought them through the doors of GCC as students. Together, they bring the perspective of many in our community. They have been honed by experience, elevated by their intelligence, and shaped by their hearts. We welcome each of them and we applaud the governor’s appointments.”

GCC Board of Trustees Chair Rob Cohn joins President Pura in welcoming the new Trustees, saying, “The Board and I are immensely pleased to have these three superstars on the GCC Board. The GCC Board includes a diverse group of talented professionals from all walks of life. Patricia, Clare, and Amy bring a broad range of experience to help the Board be even more able to engage with and serve our community. It is an exciting time to be on the GCC Board.”

Crosby said, “I am happy to be associated with GCC. I bring my personal commitment to the idea of community colleges, their accessibility, and their role as a stepping stone. Community college education provides both the immediate benefit of increasing one’s ability to get a job, as well as being a stepping stone to further learning and credentials. GCC has strong leadership, very high standards, and a willingness to listen, to change, to innovate. This is an exciting time as there is a lot of federal and state support for increasing community colleges’ role in workforce development. The workplace has changed. People need a stronger foundation and broader knowledge. Workers today are asked to be more versatile, to learn new things all the time in their work. There is a strong practical side to lifelong learning.”

President Pura praised Crosby’s appointment, saying “Few know more about those seeking work in our community than Patricia. Her work at Springfield Technical Community College before her current work at the Regional Employment Board gave her an understanding of the community college world. She is deeply committed to making connections between our community’s need for an educated workforce and those in our community who seek work.”

Higgins said, “I attended GCC in the early 1990s after being out of school for a long time. GCC was an integral part of helping me move on to the next phase of education. From GCC, I went to UMass to complete my Bachelor’s Degree through the University Without Walls program. My role as a GCC Trustee is to represent the needs of people Community Action serves – low-income families who are striving to move ahead in their lives, many seeking higher education. The work of GCC and Community Action complement each other, each providing support and tools for people who are bettering their lives. GCC does a superb job in making higher education more accessible to people in the community and excels at working with students regardless of educational background, wherever they are in terms of their readiness for college. As Mayor of Northampton, I worked with GCC to help site GCC classes in Northampton. GCC is an important educational resource for early childhood educators. Early childhood education and expanded community colleges are the next frontier of public education.”

President Pura hailed Higgins’s appointment, saying “Clare is most well known as the former mayor of Northampton. Her achievements in Northampton show great tenacity, intelligence, and heart. She brings each to her work as Executive Director of Community Action. In her role at Community Action, she has the best understanding of the needs of people in our community who live at the edge of hope. She fully understands those for whom education can have a significant impact for the better. Clare also brings a wealth of understanding about how government works.”

Holich-Dunn said, “Alumni engagement is the focus of my work, both in my professional life at Smith College and now in my volunteering for the GCC Alumni Association and serving on the GCC Board of Trustees. Everyone’s GCC experience is so different, yet I hear many common threads when I talk with other alumni – the great faculty who mentored us, how GCC was perfect for each of us at that moment in our lives. Engaging alumni means helping them understand that they can translate their ‘Oh, I loved my time at GCC’ experience into an ongoing connection with the college and other alumni. There is much more to be had from GCC and a lot to give back to the College. I would love to engage alumni who are business owners to become mentors for current GCC students and recent alumni. I also hope to help students understand that when they leave GCC, the GCC experience and community doesn’t stop.”

President Pura commended Holich-Dunn’s appointment saying, “Amy was elected by the GCC Alumni Association and approved by the Governor. She serves as the voice of all of GCC’s alumni. Her experience of transferring from GCC to Smith College is one she shares with many other women who have attended GCC. She brings a clear understanding of the transfer process to her work on the Board.”

Mary McClintock, ’82

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