GCC’s Pura, Hwang win award for ‘Changing Lives Through Literature’

  • PURA


Recorder Staff
Published: 4/18/2018 9:21:38 PM

GREENFIELD —Two administrators from Greenfield Community College will be honored for their efforts in helping those on probation through literature.

GCC President Robert Pura and Dean of Humanities Leo Hwang are receiving the Franklin County Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award for using a literature program that aids those on probation.

“I don’t think I deserve the award. I’m honored by it but there are people at the college that deserve this even more than I do,” Pura said.

Pura and Hwang helped to implement the Changing Lives Through Literature program at GCC four years ago, which the bar association called an “innovative program” and is used throughout the country. The aim of the program, according to a press release, is to “transform the lives of individuals on probation through reading and group discussion.”

Participants also include judges and probation officers.

According to Pura, the program gives those who complete it a certificate, and “it builds confidence in hopes of building a bridge towards greater involvement in the collegiate pathway.”

Hwang has been running the program since it began. Among his duties are choosing the books for participants to read and leading discussions on the material.

According to Hwang, the program gives participants an opportunity to explore themes of truth and empathy.

“It’s an opportunity to really have these participants explore literature as a way to see themselves and the world around them,” Hwang said.

“My part is just a small bit in a much larger network,” he added. “I’m proud to be a part of it and feel lots of people should be (recognized).”

Pura and Hwang will receive the Liberty Bell Award on May 1, starting at 4 p.m. At the Hope and Olive Restaurant on Hope Street.


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