Greenfield Community College student Guinevere Arthur Vanhorne 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 Massachusetts State House ceremony earlier this month.
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. Guinevere, 29, of Rowe, will graduate from GCC in June with an Associates of Arts in Liberal Arts. Nominated for the award by GCC President Bob Pura, Guinevere will transfer to Smith College to study toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and then continue on toward a master’s degree. She plans a career as a Physician Assistant, hopefully in a rural area of Massachusetts like where she lives in Rowe.
Guinevere grew up in Jamaica and never imagined she’d be able to go to college. Guinevere has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant in western Massachusetts nursing homes since taking the CNA certification course at GCC in 2010. Her work supervisors encouraged her to pursue her dream of college and enroll at GCC. While working and raising her two young daughters, Guinevere has excelled as a student at GCC. She serves as President of GCC’s chapter of the national academic honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. On her own and through Phi Theta Kappa, Guinevere has taken an active role with community service projects, including creating a fundraiser to help a local family get a wheelchair-accessible van they need, volunteering in a soup kitchen, raising money to purchase personal items and toiletries for the GCC Food Pantry, and working on a toy drive. At GCC, Guinevere also serves as an Orientation Leader and a peer tutor assisting other students.
Commenting on Guinevere, President Pura said, “Guinevere Arthur Vanhorne has a bright light that shines from within. She makes all here at GCC shine brighter. Her journey represents the courage, intelligence, and heart found throughout the classrooms, offices, and studios of our college. Gwen is a strong, smart and compassionate women who will create a brighter future for herself, her family, and her community. We are all so proud of her.”
Assistant Professor of Science Jay Gump, Guinevere’s mentor, said, “Guinevere’s success at GCC is largely a result of her enthusiasm. She is certainly intelligent, but the energy Guinevere brings to school carries her beyond preconceived notions that limit application of knowledge. Guinevere radiates curiosity and a profound appreciation for education. Her presence elevates the performance of her peers. Students like Guinevere carry the spirit of GCC into the community and ultimately represent the essence of our mission.”
Guinevere is grateful for the support she’s received at GCC. She said, “GCC embraced me from the beginning. I feel like I really belong there, like I was going home. I got really exceptional grades, but the community of people made it happen. Jay Gump was so motivating while teaching Anatomy & Physiology that I fell in love with the science of it. He ignited my passion for the sciences and cemented in my mind that I’m on the right path. His every action says ‘I believe in you.’ In 2010, I was a CNA not knowing my future. I honed in on something that felt like a distant dream and now I’m making it a reality.”
“I want to congratulate Guinevere Arthur Vanhorne and all 29 of the outstanding Class of 2015 graduates for the recognition they have received and thank them for their substantial contributions to their local communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Each of the ’29 Who Shine’ honorees, in addition to being an accomplished student, is civically engaged in ways that improve the quality of life in Massachusetts.”
“Each one of our 29 honorees is from Massachusetts and planning to remain in Massachusetts,” noted Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education. “Through their dedicated scholarship and deep engagement in their local communities, these students are making good on the taxpayers’ investment in their education.”
For information about 29 Who Shine, visit www.mass.edu/29whoshine/home.asp.
By Mary McClintock, ’82