GCC commencement: A sense of unity among its grads 

  • Graduates receive their diplomas from Greenfield Community College President Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernández during the commencement ceremony. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Troy Johnson, 3, left, waves to his mother, Samantha Rose, as she processes with her fellow graduates at the start of the Greenfield Community College commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Graduates receive their diplomas from Greenfield Community College President Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernández during the commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Faculty members applaud graduates as they receive their diplomas during the Greenfield Community College commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Graduates receive their diplomas from Greenfield Community College President Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernández during the commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Graduate Tess Burdick delivers the student address during the Greenfield Community College commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Graduate Tess Burdick delivers the student address during the Greenfield Community College commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Graduate Tess Burdick delivers the student address during the Greenfield Community College commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Graduates applaud student speaker Tess Burdick during the Greenfield Community College commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Community College President Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernández speaks during the commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Graduates listen to the keynote address during the Greenfield Community College commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, speaks during the Greenfield Community College commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 6/3/2019 12:09:54 AM

GREENFIELD — From Tess Burdick, who traveled to South America to conduct protein analysis of the Andean lupine, to Julian Olavegoya, who is creating a video game he hopes will help people struggling with anxiety, the graduates of Greenfield Community College have diverse experiences they hope will better the world. 

The GCC class of 2019 gathered under a large tent Saturday, earning degrees in everything from criminal justice, to accounting, to nursing. In matching caps and gowns, their was a sense of unity among the roughly 200 new alumni from different backgrounds and with different skill sets. 

“I will never forget the incredibly positive impact this college and this community has had on me,” said Burdick, who graduated with honors, earning her associate’s degree in liberal arts and a certificate in Spanish. 

Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, was the event’s keynote speaker.

During his commencement address, Dreyfus spoke about increasing access to quality health care and the role it has in combating the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic. He said in a world of volatility and uncertainty, the key quality to have is resiliency.

Faculty speaker Dr. Terry Boyce, a professor of psychology, stood on the party platform and told the graduates, seated in front of her, that they all have a place on the stage.

Boyce invited a student, Kendall Elizabeth Lavoie, who graduated with honors and earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts, to come up on stage and take her empty seat while she spoke. Lavoie had sent Boyce a note congratulating Boyce for being selected as a speaker, but because Lavoie had taken an online course taught by Boyce, the two had never actually met face to face. 

“You all have a place on this platform party,” Boyce said. “You’re all good enough, you’re smart enough and you’re capable enough. Sometimes your platform party might look like a board of directors somewhere, it might be your own business, you might be the best employee at somebody else’s business or the most heartfelt volunteer that the world has ever seen. You have a place at the platform party, all of you.”

Graduates

Kelsey Abramson, Matthew Ackerman, Michael Adams, Andrey Agapov, Corey Ames, Liam Anderson, Habiba Atanane, Amber Avery, Margaret Awan, Jennifer Bagnell, Jesse Ball, Mikell Barnes, Heather Barrus, Bryan Bassett, Ryan Bateman, Justin Begin, Aidan Belanger, Peter Belden, Brianna Bellows, Ewan Bennett, Claudia Bermudez, Evan Besser, Jonathan Boudreau, Dillon Britt, Maia Buchanan, Stefanie Buckley, Keo Bun, Tess Burdick, Daniel Burke, Tracy Burley, Taylor Bushey, Hunter Carkhuff, Linda Carpenter, Jorge Carrillo, Joel Castillo, Janicel Cedeno, Sarah Chase, Jack Chen, Emma Chesner-Grant, Mailee Chheou, Spencer Chudzik, Duncan Claflin, Erica Clark, Patrick Clayton, Jonathan Cody, Vallerie Collington, Mary Collins, Haley Cook, Elisha Cormier, Kayla Crowe, Athena Dansereau-Majewski, Jeffrey Davis, Nicholas Dawson, Emily Dean, Erin Degnan, Aaron Delgado, Tarrah Dempsey, Samantha Dennett, Ryan Diamondstone-Jones, Merileidy Diaz Dehenriquez, Katherine Donelan, Callie Duda-Horrigan, Haley Dumas, Brenna Durrah, David Edgar, Savannah Emery, Martha Eozzo, Jeffrey Fanion, Gina Favata, Benjamin Fisher, Elizabeth Fisk, Tristan Flynn, Tenisha Foggs, Jill Fortier, Jayne Fritz, Tiffany Fungaroli, Jodi-Lynn Gadreault, Rene Gadreault, Britnie Gagnon, Corey Gaouette, Xavier Garcia, Jonah Goitein, Hannah Gomsey, Mario Gonzalez Castillo, Casey Gould, Leslie Graham, Nicole Graham, Evan Graves, Kathleen Gregory, Weldon Gregory, Lucy Greto, Dyane Grout, Jackson Guin, Kenneth Gutkowski, Scott Harrington, Macklin Harrity, Erica Hebert, Eliza Henderson, Caitlin Hernandez, Melissa Hersey, Verena Herzberg, Anne Herzig, Jacob Hibbard, James Hill, Lauren Hnath, Hannah Holman, India Holmes, Aleigh Holmquist-Parker, Trevor Houle, Sara Howard, Saxony Huenneke, Khylar Hughes, Brandon Italiano, Danielle Italiano, Heather Jablonski, Leah Jacobson-Hardy, Joseph Jagiello, Yu Young Jang, Emma Johnson, Madelyn Johnson, Katharine Jones, Rowan Jones, Solveig Jonsson, Caleb Joseph, Olivia Josias, Aaron Joslin-Wangdu, Colin Kazunas, Rashel Keeling, Samantha Keith, Erica Kelly, Nicole Kelsey, Ashley Kernan-Dufresne, Candice Killeen, William Kirk, Wanda Kirker, Yulia Kline, Ethan Krauss, Derrick Kuloba, Cynthia Kunz, Michael LaFortune, Christian LaPlante, Jillian Lacey, Mark Lagimoniere, Joshua Lander, Robert Landers, Phelan Lapan, Kevin Lapierre, Michael Largay, Robert Latson, Jeffrey Laverdiere, Kendall Lavoie, Josephine Leise, Daniel Lemonde, Colin Leonard, Nora Letendre, Abigail Levesque, Katarzyna Lively, Morgan Lobrose, Gerald Loughman, Hailey Lowell, Caroline Ludvik-Johnson, Vanessa Machado, Agnieszka Madro, Renu Malik, Meryl Mandell, Thomas Mangan, Laura Manners, Sitabile Maodzwa, Vincent Marchese, Jeanne Marsh, Grace Martenson, Elinor Massengill, Hannah Matrishon, Beatrice Mbugua, Debra McEnaney, Bethany McMahon, Ian Mcbean, Colin Mccarthy, Trevor Mccarthy, Susan Mccomb, Brandon Mcmahon, Katelyn Mcvety, Morgan Menzyk, Benjamin Miller, James Mills, Jacob Milton, Najmeh Mohammadi Arani, Katrina Morin, Cynthia Morton, Samaneh Nadalian, Michael Napolitano, Charles Neisner, Melissa Nolen, Tenzin Nyima, Emily Oles, Gabriel Oliva Rapoport, Sophia Orellana, Chanice Ortega-Rodriguez, Daisy Osowski, Katelyn Pachalis, Jill Palmer, Linda Parker, Carolyn Parlin Bartsch, Aneri Patel, Richard Patnode, Natashia Peck, Matthew Pellegrini, Wendy Pelletier, Silas Peno, Catherine Perez, Jamie Pfisterer, Samantha Pierson, Gabrielle Powell, Lucas Purington, Sean Rabbitt, Lidia Ramos, Jasper Reis, Gabrielle Remillard, Natalie Reyes, Jesse Rice, Trista Rice, Ashlyn Richardson, Shantell Rizzitano, George Roberge, Amanda Robinson, Julie Robinson, Shannon Roch, Jessie Romero, Andrea Rosario, Samantha Rose, Avery Rovatti, Timothy Rowan, Ellen Roy-Clark, Jordan Ruehle, Nathaniel Ruiz, Darlene Sadlowski, Aimee Salmon, Joshua Savoie, Matthew Scafidi, Ryan Scafidi, Emily Seifert, Iliya Shumilov, Jenna Silvia, Yupin Sirikanjanachi, Emmett Slack, Katherine Smiarowski, Brendan Smith, Danielle Smith, Megan Smith, Serena Smith, Dina Songorov, Angela Soule, Colt Stewart, Emily Sullivan, Elizabeth Suozzo, Abby Sutton, Hannah Sylvester, Jacinda Taft, Bethel Taylor, Rook Tease, Sarah Tenney, Andrew Thomas, David Thomas, Joshua Thomas, Marty Trammell, Kevin Truong, Maya Turriago, Steven Tynan, Kerry Vassar, Serena Vassar, Corey Vaz, Dominic Vellucci, Molly Viens, Matthew Wage, Irene Wang, Laura Ward, Nathaniel Waring, Kevin Warren, Bethany Waryasz, Margareta Welch, Dorothy White, McLellan White, Jake Whitestone, Daniele Whitney, MaKensy Wickham-Diemand, Dylan Williams, Dina Williamson, Joshua Willis, Jordan Wing, Shannon Wing, Heather Wolcott, Lucien Woodsum, Taylor Wyckoff, Jordan Wyman, Jesse Zabko, Kellie Zalenski, Noah Zilberberg and Gena Zucchino.

Awards

Accounting: Linda Carpenter.

Art Department “Medici” Award: Cynthia Kunz.

Business and Information Technology: Savannah Emery and James Hill.

Criminal Justice: Trevor Houle.

Drama Award: Jayse Matrishon.

Engineering Science Award: Aiden Belanger.

Early Childhood Education: Kelsey Gillian Santos.

Liberal Arts/English: Shannon E. Roch.

International Student Scholastic Achievement Award: Sitabile Maodzwa.

Liberal Arts/ Music: Hannah Holman.

Liberal Arts/Social Sciences: Serena Smith.

Nursing — For excellence in nursing care: Dominic Vellucci.

Nursing — For academic excellence: Danielle Smith.

Donald Oberacker Liberal Arts/Science: Taylor Wyckoff.

Liberal Arts: Maya I. Turriago.

The Charles Green Award: Mario Gonzalez-Castillo.


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