The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education recognized students from state universities and community colleges for their contributions to the Commonwealth today at the State House. Governor Charlie Baker, Education Secretary James Peyser, and Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago presented awards to students from each of the Massachusetts’ 29 public campuses for their civic leadership and academic achievements. Kendall E. Lavoie of Erving was among those chosen for the “29 Who Shine” high honor to represent Greenfield Community College.
“Our entire community celebrates Kendall. She epitomizes the curious learners who attend GCC and whose diverse interests lead them to meaningful and varied careers. Kendall’s successes are great reflections of the work of our excellent educators” says President Salomon-Fernández.
Before coming to GCC, Kendall was a full-time pre-school teacher for almost four years. Using that as a foundation, Kendall decided to broaden her scope and chose a liberal arts education; to learn the core attributes of creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, all of the essential skills needed for today’s workforce. Through further exploration via an honors seminar course through the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she discovered an intellectual curiosity for science. From there she delved deeper into scientific inquiry by pursuing impressive internships with US Fish and Wildlife Service Connecticut River Fish Project and the US Geological Survey Northeast Amphibian and Research Monitoring Initiative; where GCC is collaborating with researchers for Salamander Population and Adaptation Research.
Kendall is also the first student to graduate from GCC’s College & Career Compass program, which supports students as they explore majors and build individual academic and career plans. In her time at GCC, Kendall has truly lead by example and she has taken full advantage of many opportunities the College has to offer. Her varied electives and interdisciplinary course record is evidence of her curiosity and love of learning. Her passion for helping others comes through in the work she has done for our Wellness Center in support of mental health advocacy, said Tonya Blundon, Compass Program Coordinator & Academic Advisor.
In addition to achieving high academic success, Kendall has a compassion and finesse for working with people. She has devoted her time as an advocate to raise awareness to various health and wellness issues and to help fellow students in need who seek out services at the Wellness Center which provides support for well-being and academic success.
“We are extremely proud of Kendall and all that she has accomplished in her time at GCC. She has become an invaluable part of the community and we can’t wait to see all that she has yet to accomplish. She’s just getting started,” said Anna Berry, Dean of Students.
Greenfield Community College (GCC) is a public, two-year community college located in scenic Western Massachusetts and is one of Massachusetts’ 15 Community Colleges. Home to a vibrant and supportive community with small class sizes, GCC is known for its strong focus on student success and robust transfer programs. GCC offers over 35 degree and certificate options, as well as job training and career development opportunities. Community education classes are also provided as well as numerous events, seminars, and performances throughout the year that are open to the public.
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