GCC President and REE Professor to testify at Congressional Hearing June 24

On Wednesday, June 18, Congress called Greenfield Community College. Sarah Parker from Representative Peter DeFazio’s office contacted GCC, asking GCC to speak at a hearing on education and American energy jobs being held by the Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. DeFazio is the Ranking Member on the House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over energy, federal lands, oceans and fisheries, and Native American issues. The subcommittee is particularly interested in education and energy jobs and they have heard about GCC’s programs in Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency. President Bob Pura and Associate Professor Teresa Jones will attend the American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Education hearing in Washington, DC on Tuesday, June 24 and Jones will present GCC’s testimony. Jones is the Program Coordinator for GCC’s Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency program. Pura and Jones will also present a 12-page written report.

Commenting on the request, Pura said, “I am so very happy for the faculty, staff, and students of the RE/EE programs that they are being recognized for their good and hard work. The subcommittee is interested in hearing how to link education with the need for a solar energy workforce. Our local economy is strengthened by the green energy sector and both the community and the college value sustainable energy. One of the reasons GCC’s program in renewable energy and energy efficiency is so strong is that it reflects a deeply held value in the community. Our community really understands the importance of sustainable energy systems and how such systems impact the environment and our economic well-being. Testifying at this hearing is an opportunity to impact national policy. The subcommittee has asked exactly the right program to come to the table. It’s a wonderful statement about our college and community as a whole.”

“There is a great deal of opportunity for economic growth, job creation, and job attainment in the sustainable energy field,” said Jones. “There is a huge potential for domestic jobs in the area of energy efficiency upgrades, but people need knowledge and advanced skills to do those jobs. To participate in this rapidly evolving and technological field, people need to have a solid educational background, especially in science. This field is already very different from five years ago, so businesses and workers need to be able to adapt. The key piece for us is figuring out where the best job opportunities are and, what people need to know to succeed in getting those jobs or starting businesses. We look to our business and other community partners to help guide that process. A critical piece is for all interested people to be able to access the education and training they need. We have been able to make GCC’s RE/EE program accessible because of state funding. Our greatest success putting people to work was during a three-year workforce grant (2007-2010) that subsidized participant courses. These three years coincided with the economic downturn. People came to the program to retrain, upgrade their skills, and add skills so they could get or keep their jobs. The outcomes exceeded our expectations in new hires, promotions, wage increases, and broader business impacts. If we can do this during a recession, think of what we can do during brighter economic times.”

“I am extremely proud that GCC has been called on to testify before this subcommittee. Congress and the nation have a great deal to learn from them,” said U.S. Representative Jim McGovern. “Greenfield Community College’s curriculum is providing students with the skills necessary to support the development and deployment of renewable energy technology across the Commonwealth and the country.”

This is the second time in the past two months that GCC has been recognized by national leaders. On May 9, GCC was recognized for its programs in renewable energy by the White House’s Solar Progress Report: Advancing Toward a Clean Energy Future. The Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources learned about GCC’s Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency programs through other sources, not from the White House report. Pura said, “I am particularly pleased that both the White House and Congress have recognized the students, faculty and staff of this fine program.”

Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency (RE/EE) is a term used for a rapidly growing industry tackling the challenge of energy use and its impact in the built and living environment. Renewable Energy refers to energy sources that cannot be depleted such as solar energy to heat water and buildings, and solar, wind and hydropower to make electricity. Energy Efficiency means reducing energy use and minimizing energy waste – a first step in managing energy use wisely. It also encompasses all aspects of high performance buildings, including design, construction and management. GCC’s RE/EE program offers a wide range of courses that provide the knowledge and skills needed for entry level employment opportunities in the growing RE/EE field. The RE/EE program is designed to address the needs of a variety of people and the diversity of students taking the courses creates a dynamic learning environment offering many opportunities for networking. Those already employed in the trades can learn new skills, such as retrofitting for building contractors or photovoltaics for electricians. Other professionals can enhance existing careers by adding energy skills to their toolbox, or transition into new areas of work. Students planning to pursue a higher degree, such as architecture or landscape design, take these courses to prepare for transferring to a larger institution. Interested home or business owners can learn more about do-it-yourself opportunities.

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Practical Nursing Certificates awarded June 20

Greenfield Community College Practical Nursing Program students will be graduating in a special ceremony to be held 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 20, 2014, at the Main Campus, Dining Commons, Greenfield, MA.  This is the twenty-second graduating class of the program which prepares students to become Licensed Practical Nurses.

Many in the class are non-traditional students who have balanced family and work responsibilities to successfully complete the program.  Some are pursuing an opportunity for second careers; others are furthering their education in the nursing profession.

It is the fifteenth year the Practical Nursing Program has been at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  Classes are held at the Medical Center and clinical experiences take place several local hospitals and nursing homes in Hampshire and Hampden Counties.

Graduates have successfully completed a full-time ten month program administered by Greenfield Community College.  They are now eligible to complete a state licensure examination and to attain their goal of becoming licensed practical nurses.

Once licensed, graduates are eligible for nursing positions in long-term care facilities, physicians’ offices and clinics, schools, correctional facilities and psychiatric settings.

The graduation program will include the awarding of certificates, a pinning ceremony, guest speakers and the presentation of awards in academic and clinical excellence.

Dr. Robert L. Pura, President of Greenfield Community College, will give the commencement address and award certificates.  Student speaker is Francisco Santiago.  Commencement  Speaker is Tom Morin, L.P.N.  Class of ’93.

CLASS of 2014

Derek Matthew Apodaca Greenfield
Christine Chamberlin Turners Falls
Elizabeth A. Desmond South Deerfield
Lucas M. Gary Greenfield
Maureen Johnson Erving
Holly Elizabeth McElligott Greenfield
Christina Faith Millett Greenfield
Sheri Potts Greenfield
Sarah Ann Robbins Greenfield
Francisco Javier Santiago Greenfield
Nicole Talbot Deerfield
Dawa Tsering Sunderland
Kelsey E Waldron Bernardston
Kyle Thomas Nelson Holyoke
Hilary Nicole Piquette Granby
Rhonda M. Stefanelli Chicopee
Margaret Kibugi Ludlow
Veronica A. Mayberry Westfield
Claire Mockler Miraglia Ashfield
Mauleverer Murray Leverett
Monica Rumierz Belchertown
Heather M. Pedersen Northampton
Toni L. LaRochelle Amherst
Anne Marie Lisella West Springfield

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Rosenberg secures $9.5 million bond bill for GCC Day Care Center

State Senator Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst), Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate, announced today that he has secured $9.5 million in the Senate’s Capital Bond Bill for the design and construction of a childcare center on the Greenfield Community College campus.

Rosenberg said this proposed center, which would be a state-of-the-art facility designed to achieve maximum environmental efficiency, would be a boon not just to GCC students but also to working-class families across Franklin County, and to the region’s economy as a whole.

“Very often, the lack of quality childcare is an obstacle to lower-income families entering the workforce, or acquiring the necessary education and job training to qualify for a better job,” Rosenberg said. “Franklin County is one of the poorest areas of the state and I firmly believe this childcare center will play a significant role in helping to break the cycle of poverty for many Franklin County families.”

“I commend GCC President Robert Pura and Community Action Executive Director Clare Higgins for their unwavering commitment to this project and I look forward to working with them, the GCC family, and my colleagues in the House to make this center a reality,” Rosenberg added. “A project of this scale will require teamwork and I’m eager to get started.”

“The need for a child care center on GCC’s campus to provide stable, quality care is clear,” said GCC President Robert L. Pura, “and we are very appreciative of the efforts of Senator Rosenberg and his colleagues for recognizing and addressing that need.” He noted that the center will also serve families from throughout the community and will be the “lab school” for GCC’s Education Program students to do their field work.

“Safe, quality, affordable child care is critical to the success of our students who are also parents and our Education Program students and faculty will benefit greatly from having this wonderful facility located here,” Pura added. “Campus-based early education and care programs are intended for the combined functions of early childhood education and college instruction, offering a unique blend of education and training for our Education Program students while also providing high quality educational experiences for young children. Our students and this community deserve that.”

“This would be great for the college, and great for the community,” Higgins said. “This would be a facility built for young children that would help them grow and thrive. It’s just great, great news.”

Rosenberg’s amendment funding the GCC childcare center, co-sponsored with State Senator Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield), was not included in the House version of the Capital Bond Bill, so the amount, $9,458,561, will be subject to change when the House-Senate conference committee seeks to reconcile the two versions of the bill.

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GCC Grads ‘jump-start’ into next chapter

CHRIS SHORES, Recorder, June 2, 2014

GREENFIELD — In the eyes of student speaker Michael Lewis, a new class of superstars graduated from Greenfield Community College on Saturday.

The college’s 51st annual commencement ceremony honored 282 students who earned associate degrees this year and 97 who earned certificates.

“We have completed this phase of the journey,” said Lewis. “This is the jump-start. This is the kickoff point… and you couldn’t have had a better place to do it from.”

Lewis — a former student trustee, a veteran and the co-founder of the college’s student veteran network — reminded his peers that life isn’t always easy. He had planned to graduate last year before a failed class got in the way.

“I was supposed to be leaving and I failed,” he said. “What I found out and what I learned the next day is that the sun still rose. It rose the day after that. … Reach for the stars. Keep your wings spread. Do not give up.”

GCC President Robert Pura kicked off the two-hour ceremony by telling graduates that education isn’t one-size-fits-all, and that the best schools offer a custom experience for each student.

He also reminded them to appreciate their surroundings as they began the next chapter in their lives.

“The American Dream needs an update and you are up to that task,” said Pura. “Maybe the greatest treasures you could dream of are right here … in your own backyard.”

Faculty speaker and peace activist Abbie Jenks said that, because of war, pollution and corporate greed, “the world and our country are in deep trouble now.”

But teaching GCC students has been her saving grace.

“My belief in helping others is transformed from one of duty to one of love, as I realize that we are all in this together,” she said. “We were, and are, bonded in the very, very difficult work of creating a culture of peace.”

Jenks later led a majority of the graduates in a pledge, in which students promised to try to improve the “social and environmental consequences” of any job or activity they take part in.

Students broke out into cheers and applause throughout the ceremony, including during award presentations and the awarding of diplomas. In a few cases, GCC faculty and foundation board members took the stage to award their graduating family members with diplomas.

Jenks, who taught human services as well as peace and social justice, was honored as a professor emeritus along with Peter Rosnick, a math teacher and former college dean.

Sharon Roth, an education professor, received the Robert Mugar Yacubian distinguished service award.

Commencement awards

Criminal Justice, Rebecca Holloway.

Music, Will Byler.

Excellence in Nursing Care, Andrea Gray.

Academic Excellence in Nursing, Kristie Timberlake.

International Student Scholastic Achievement, Natalia Masaitis.

The Donald Oberacker Award, Jennifer Christian, Tiffany Kozash.

Accounting, Madeleine Roberts.

Liberal Arts/English, Cameron Mediros.

Business Information Technology, Jean Martin.

Peer Tutors: Ernest Baird, Erica Lynn Bready, Mishaela L. Brennan, Lewis Nathan Chase III, Tara Leigh Johnson, Tiffany J. Kozash, Benjamin Lawton, Jeremy J. Mankowsky, Mary Elise Morris, Samuel D. Nelson, David Alan Perok, Haley Perret, Natalya Radionov, Wyatt Scherm-Martin, Patricia L. Waitkus, Rebecca Walsh.

Phi Theta Kappa: Randy Andrews, Ernest Baird, Elyse Bianchet, Ethan Bisaillion, Sarah Bohl, Mary Bordewieck, Mishaela Brennan, Rebecca D. Burleigh-Howes, William Burton, Will Byler, Elizabeth Carlton, Lewis Chase, Hannah Cleveland, Kathryn Collier, Cynthia Curtis, Victoria Damato, Emily Delnero, Shannon Dry, Katie Eldredge, Emily Ericson, Ana Ghencea, Patricia Goodwin, Tamara Grimard, Rebecca Hatch, Richard Hicks, Kelandra Hurd, Ariana Hyer, Kristian Johnson, Tara Johnson, Gregory Kendall, Viktoriya Khasanova, Tiffany Kozash, Wesley Krejmas, Benjamin Lawton, Jeremy Mankowsky, Ryan Mathers, Cameron A. Medeiros, Terry Mikulskis, Mary E Morris, Meghan A Murphy, Katherine Newport, Dawn Nims, Madeleine Roberts, Kelsey Rode, Michel Ryan, Wyatt Scherm-Martin, Justin Sessions, Kristie M. Timberlake, Brittany Tirrell, Jeremy G. Vandal, Brittany D. VonFeldt, Patricia Waitkus, Katelyn A. Wood, Matthew A. Yoder, Stephen B. Zacek.

GCC Class of 2014

Scott J Abdow, Bri Agenbroad, Eman Al-Siraji, Rayna Mira Aleshnick, Olga Y. Alforova-Bazukina, Scott Allison, Laurie Anderson, Mark R Anderson, Richard Eric Anderson, Ruth-Ann Anderson, Randy Kenneth Andrews, Katherine Aukstikalnis, Ashley Austin, Alexander Ayala-Palacin, Ernest Baird, Abigail E. Bak, Sondra J Bakke, Chelsea Dawn Ballard, Zlata Banar, Edna T. Bartlett, John F. Bean, Elizabeth A. Beaudet Kearns, Jonna L. White, Meredith J. Benson, Memory Mandida Bhebhe, Elyse Bianchet, Ethan B. Bisaillon, Jessica L. Bishop, Eric Christopher King Blevin, Zhanna A. Bocharnikova, Sarah L. Bohl, Samantha Boothroyd, Kathleen Elizabeth Bordewieck, Mary Catherine Bordewieck, Karen A. Bouquillon, Tyler J Bovat, Bridget E. Bowman, Erica Lynn Bready, William T. Breed, Mishaela L. Brennan, Debra Ann Breor, Christina Bridges, Yelena A. Briggs, Brian Brooks, Joseph Broska, Marc Brown, Nathaniel Jesse Brown, Samantha Browning, Christopher Browsky, Rebecca Burleigh-Howes, Ashley Busold, Will Conrad Byler, Jeanna Patrice Byrd, Maura K. Cabrera, Mark Caldwell, Virginia H. Canton, Timothy Capuano, Christopher Enrique Carantit, Hannah M. Cardin, Elizabeth A. Carlton, Hayley Cavender, Isabella Cespedes-Ashe, Lewis Nathan Chase III, Cody Chatterton, Stephen A Childs, Jennifer Christian, Jessica Cialek, Shanna Marie Clark, Hannah Elizabeth Cleveland, Ciji Ann Cody, Tanya L. Colby, Kathryn Collier, Gary Grant Conaway, Scott Andrew Cook, Cynthia Ann Curtis, Victoria A Damato, Evan S. Davies, Bryan G. Davis, Erin Leigh Degnan, David Alfred Degon, Thomas Alexander Dehoyos, Monique Saphonia Desir, Natalia Diek, Jolene Dodge, Dmitri Doncev, Kimiko Donohoe, Molly McNeil Dowd, Shannon Renae Dry, Sean Duma, Sarah Duprey, Joshua Duyck, Jason Edson, Lauren L. Eldred, Kathleen Eldredge, Emily Ericson, Michael J. Erikson, A. Jacob Fahrer, Seth A Fawks, Inna Federyuk, Kelly Ferencek, Joseph Ferriter, Stacey Ann Fish, Eric J. Fitzgerald, Daniel Fontaine, Mariah Fontaine, Jordan Foster, Sarah May Foster, Danielle Angelique Fournier, Anthony Francis, Heather Ashley Franklin, Kimberlee Fritz, Nicole K. Fuller, Mariah Rose Garza, Kevin Robert Gates, Scott R. Gates, Ana Ghencea, Karen L. Gilbert, Katrina Gilchrest, Ernesto Gonzalez, Patricia Ann Goodwin, Rose M. Grabowski, Kasey J. Grant, Andrew Francis Graves, Andrea D’Elia Gray, Jeffrey D Green, Melissa Green, Grace G. Gregory, Tamara Grimard, Cody R. Grybko, Beverly K. Guilbault,Meghan Hale, Thomasina R. Hall, Eric Halloran, Jeffrey Hamberg, Narjes Hamdan, Bethaney S. Hardin, Michelle Lynn Harris, Adam R. Hart, Cheavon Hatch, Rebecca Hatch, Kara M. Hayes, Gail Marie Hescock, Erica Catherine Hewes, Richard D Hicks, Tricia Ann Hill, Ian C. Hogan, Rebecca Lynn Holloway, Lynn Patricia Hollrock, Mark Hudyma, Kelandra Hurd, Ariana Marie Hyer, Katelyn M. Jablonski, Jeffrey Jasinski, Amy Lee Johnson, Analesi Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Kristian Johnson, Nils Thomas Johnson, Tara Leigh Johnson, Ian P. Joy,Samantha Kain-Call, Kenneth G. Kaiser, Daniel P. Kane Jr., Frank W Kanserstein, Christopher Karney, Elizabeth O’Leary Keefe, Jaime Keefner, Michael Kelley, Matthew R. Kelly, Gregory Kendall, Rose Jennesse Kendrick, Richard W. Kenyon, Viktoriya Khasanova, Daniel D Kieras, Paul Kieras, Brian Michael Kotowski, Tiffany J. Kozash, Wesley William Krejmas Jr., Jeffrey J. Kristek, Christopher E Krzykowski, Jonathan Adam Kusek, Breanne Lee Kydd, Tyler Kydd, Daniel J LaPan, Tammy M. LaRochelle, Melissa Jean LaValley, Niles R. LaValley, Allen Labor Jr., Daniel J. Labrie, Heather B. Lamb, Jenny Lambert, Jacob W. Lapean, Carolyn Murray, Taylor Lawson, Benjamin Lawton, Susan Leccese-DeLisle, Ji Yeon Lee, Rena Letourneau, Amy M. Lewis, Michael P. Lewis, Catherine L. Lilly, Rita Longe, Vincent Longo, Lizabeth A. Losius, Lyudmyla Lytvynchuk, Erika V. Lyvytska,Justin Whitton MacDowell, Avin Mahmood, Jeremy J. Mankowsky, Catherine R. Marcum, George Stoyanou Markov, Amanda L. Martin, Jean W. Martin, Lindsay Faye Martin, Natalia L. Masaitis, Ryan M. Mathers, Michael R. McDowell, Olivia L. McDowell, Corinne McFadden, Jill McFadden, Calvin J. McKemmie, Cameron Adam Medeiros, Alexander Meisner, Oceana S. Merrick, Zakary Mervine, Thomas Francis Messer, India Meyer, Terry Mikulskis, Casey D. Milkey, Alexander Matthew Miner, Kirstin Miner, Regina Wangui Miru, Nicholas Mizula, Eman Mohammad, Jian Mohammad, Ambria Lei Momaney, Frederick R. Momaney, Jocelyn Constance Morris, Katherine A. Morris, Mary Elise Morris, Johanna Nicholine Murphy, Julian Ray Murphy, Meghan A. Murphy, Ryan Murphy,Cherie-Lee Nash, Corey J. Navarrete, Samuel D. Nelson, Katherine Newport, Joseph Newton, Blessed M. Ngoma, Dawn Elizabeth Nims, Tyanna Normandin, Caroline Novelli,Tanya Lyn O’Connell, Dominick Obertello III, Jungbae Oh, Elysia Marie Ollari, Seth Cote Olson, Zachary A. Oppenheimer, Linda Orner, Beth Ann Ortiz, Donald L. Otis,Matthew Pacinella, Jeffrey D. Paquin Jr., Anastas “Steve” Pchelka, David Alan Perok, Haley Perret, Todd Perry, Toni Peters, Dorina Placinta, Kenneth John Polastry, Cayla May Pollard, Christy Coral Porter, Kelly A. Potts, Jane R. Pronovost,Natalya Radionov, Tabitha Recore, Alex K. Richardson, Madeleine S. Roberts, T. Joseph Roberts, Kelsey E. Rode, Ben Root, Julia E. Roy, Roy Rudolph, Teri Rutherford, Michel Ryan, Francisco J. Santiago, Wyatt Scherm-Martin, Shannon Scott-Smith, Justin Douglas Sessions, David Richard Shattuck, Mikhail Sineokov, James A. Slate, Christina L. Slocum-Wysk, Krista St. Marie, Kelly Stanton, Brandon M. Stebbins, Jamie Maria Strakose-Hagen, Ashley Taylor Strange, Eric Troy Stratton, Holly K. Stumpo, Elizabeth Sulewski, Tiffany Summers, Chelsea Swasey, Kyle James Sweeney, Matthew Szulborski,Nicole Talbot, Alyssa Tan Jia Xin, Anisabete Tavares, Nicolaas Bertrand Teensma, Joseph D. Therien, Hannah M. Therrien, Jodiann Thomas, Kristie Timberlake, Brittany N. Tirrell, Charles Tormanen, Shandi Rose Trucheon, Kyle A. Tuttle,Alexander Urkiel, Taryn B. Valdez, David P Valiquette-Lalonde, Ian Andrew Van’t Land, Jeremy Vandal, Ethan K. Vandermark, Jeff Vatore, Zachary E. Volpe, Brittany D. VonFeldt, Patricia L. Waitkus, Kelsey E. Waldron, Rebecca Brianna Walsh, Ian Walton, Jillian Ward, Timothy M. Warren, Carrie Waslaske, Vanessa J. Watroba, Joseph Harnish Weddell, Cody R. Wells, Brian Peter Werme, Austin Wheeler, Darren V. Whelan, John Wickline, Kayci Lynn Wickline, Alayna Williams, Andrea Williams, Monica L. Williams, Hannah Wilson, Patrice Crosby Wilson, Rebecca M. Wong, Katelyn A. Wood, Kristina Woods, Michael Woofenden, Adam X Wroblewski, Tenzin Yangzom, Saba Yasin, Matthew A. Yoder, James R. Young Jr., Catherine Youngen, Stephen Blayne Zacek, Amanda Zajac, Holly B. Zimmerman, Paul Victor Zononi, Zachary Zucker.

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Grinspoon Awards Recognize Entrepreneurial Spirit of GCC Students

Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well – and honored – at Greenfield Community College. On April 30, two GCC students received the Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and $1,000 from the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF) at The Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative Awards Ceremony and Banquet. Laura DiLuzio won for her DiLuzio Business Services and Brian Llewelyn won for his line of sportswear, Bull-Cross Racing. Since 2004, a total of 45 GCC students have won more than $40,000 from this Foundation. The Entrepreneurship Initiative is one of several initiatives supported by the philanthropy of Longmeadow, MA resident and businessman, Harold Grinspoon, and includes all of the Pioneer Valley’s institutions of higher education.

The Grinspoon Ceremony included an “Elevator Pitch” Contest in which one representative from each of the 15 Pioneer Valley schools had 90 seconds to address 500 people and convince a team of bankers and venture capitalists to fund their new business idea. This year, GCC student Scott Abdow won third place and $600 in the competition for his vision of an event-based gaming store called “Game On!”

Laura DiLuzio, 31 of Northfield, started working as a bookkeeper when she was 17 years old and has worked as an independent contractor since 2009, providing bookkeeping and other business services to area small businesses. Continuing to add to her client base, Laura recently expanded her services to include organizing bridal fairs and trade shows. She used her award to purchase equipment for her business.

Laura began studying at GCC in fall 2013, at the same time her daughter, now three years old, started school. Laura went to GCC both to set an example for her daughter and to find the next step in her career. She is studying toward Business Administration Transfer and Accounting degrees and a Computer Assisted Bookkeeping Certificate and plans to transfer to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. At GCC, Laura has been involved with the Business Club and the Reality Fair for area high school seniors.

Laura said, “Since starting taking courses at GCC, I have learned a great deal and gained valuable friendships. In my marketing class we used one of my clients as a case study and prepared a marketing plan for them. GCC helped me provide a valuable service for my client. I am honored to receive the Grinspoon award and to have my hard work recognized.”

Brian Llewelyn, 19 of Northfield, is in his first year at GCC studying Business and working toward an Entrepreneurship Certificate. Brian began his sportswear business, Bull-Cross Racing, in 2011 with a $100 loan from his mother. Brian designs and sells shirts, hats, and accessories, targeting those who are just starting in motocross competition and do not have corporate sponsors. He used that first $100 to produce sportswear, sold out within a week and repaid his mother’s loan. This spring, Brian took GCC’s Fundamentals of Fashion & Textiles course where he created a new sweatshirt design specifically geared toward the needs of those who ride motorcross. He used his Grinspoon Award to invest in new products.

Brian said, “The Fashion & Textiles class at GCC helped me figure out my target market and this award has helped more people learn about my business. My goal is to help kids who race but are not going to make it into the pros feel like a pro.”

Commenting on Laura and Brian’s Grinspoon Awards, GCC Professor of Economics & Business Thom Simmons said, “Laura and Brian aren’t just studying about business, they are running businesses, applying their learning to the real world. In class, Laura and Brian have provided concrete examples for other students of practical applications of the skills and knowledge they learn at GCC.”

For more information about the Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards and Entrepreneurship education at GCC, contact Business Department Chair Thom Simmons, 413-775-1482.

By Mary McClintock, ’82

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