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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Governor Patrick and Education Leaders honor Community College, State University and UMass Graduates for Contributions to the Commonwealth

Greenfield Community College student Ernest A. Baird is one of “29 Who Shine,” a group of outstanding Massachusetts public college and university graduates honored by the Department of Higher Education at a State House ceremony on May 8. Every year, one graduate from each of the 29 Massachusetts public campuses is recognized for their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service. Ernie, 42, of Northampton, will graduate from GCC this spring with an Associate in Science degree with a concentration in Engineering Science. Nominated for the award by GCC President Bob Pura, Ernie will transfer to the University of Massachusetts Amherst to study toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He plans to pursue a career as a chemical engineer.

This is Ernie’s second time at GCC. In the late 1990s, Ernie started at GCC right after finishing high school. He wasn’t ready for college, did not do well, and did not continue with his education. For many years, Ernie worked at a local manufacturing business, driving a forklift and loading trucks. Ernie is married and has a six-year-old son. He worked hard, yet realized he was living paycheck to paycheck and had an essentially “empty resume” that provided no way for him to move into a better paying job. Ernie decided to try GCC again. At GCC, Ernie has realized math and science are easy and enjoyable for him. With the support of GCC’s faculty and staff, Ernie has excelled in his classes and in his work as a Peer Tutor.

Commenting on Ernie, President Pura said, “Ernie’s journey is one of great courage. His is also the story of how significant GCC is in forging economic mobility and strengthening the middle class in our community. Ernie demonstrated great courage, grit and wisdom coming back to GCC to create a better life for himself and his family. Ernie then excelled in math, science, and engineering. He will now transfer to UMass ready to take it to the next level. Ernie will ultimately work as an Engineer here in the Valley. From stockroom clerk to engineer doing the work he loves; that is the stuff dreams are built on. We are so proud of Ernie and are privileged to have played a role in his journey.”

Associate Professor of Mathematics Ian Winokur, Ernie’s mentor, said, “Ernie is a superstar. He got straight A’s only because A+ isn’t offered as a grade at GCC. Ernie combines strong mathematics ability with great skill at helping those who struggle with math. As a classmate and Peer Tutor, Ernie is able to meet students wherever they are in their understanding of math and explain mathematical concepts at just the right level for them to move forward. Ernie has a great rapport with students of all ages and abilities and enjoys helping them with math. Through his work as a Peer Tutor, Ernie has helped countless GCC students increase their math skills.”

Ernie appreciates the support he’s received at GCC. He said, “I was 39 and very intimidated when I walked into my first class at GCC. The instructor, Ian Winokur, was welcoming and made me feel like I belonged. I had never imagined being able to get a college degree. Ian’s teaching and support changed that. Now, I’m on my way to being a chemical engineer.”

Ernie and Ian participated in the 29 Who Shine Student Recognition Ceremony on May 8. For information about 29 Who Shine, visit

By Mary McClintock, ’82