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Two Berkshire Community College Students Receive National Recognition
May 14, 2010

For immediate release:
May 14, 2010

PITTSFIELD/BOSTON - Amanda Garceau and Jessica Russo were Berkshire Community College's (BCC)  2010 nominees to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. In partnership with USA Today, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the Coca-Cola Foundation, and Phi Theta Kappa, this program seeks to honor more than 370 students as representatives of all outstanding community college students around the world. 

Beth Wallace assistant director of the office of student life at BCC nominated both women to receive the recognition.  "Amanda and Jessica are two bright and capable young women whose hard work and commitment is reflected in their leadership roles, which they held on the Student Government Ambassador Program this past year," said Wallace. "They led the group through many successful projects this year.  Under their leadership, even the most challenging times were made easier.   Not only are they committed to student success outside of the classroom but they both excel academically."

Garceau was selected as a 2010 Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar, based on scores earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. As a Bronze Scholar, she will be provided with a check for $1,000 later this summer. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Scholars were listed in a special section of USA Today on April 19th. Amanda was also named a New Century Scholar, which goes to the student receiving the highest All-USA Community College Academic Team application score in each state.

Garceau, a Dalton resident and a physical fitness major, expects to graduate from BCC in June 2011. Her future plans include transferring to a four-year college for a degree in sports medicine. "I will use my degrees to help fight the obesity epidemic and also help people who have other medical conditions that are preventable or reversible," Garceau said. "As a widow and a mother of a young child fighting heart disease, my goal is to help others avoid losing their loved ones, or their own lives."

Russo, who graduates with an AS in liberal arts next month, will attend UMass-Amherst in the fall as a political science major with a minor in math in the honors program. Russo is a Pittsfield resident who aspires to attend law school upon completion of her undergraduate program at UMass.

Garceau and Russo represented BCC at the All-Massachusetts Academic Team Recognition Ceremony on April 26th at the State House in Boston. Students nominated to the national All-USA/All-State Academic Teams are automatically named to the All-State Academic Teams and are eligible for stipends provided by Coca-Cola. Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, community college presidents, and community college state associations co-sponsor All-State Academic Team recognition programs in 38 states.

Photo Caption - (Left to right) Geoffrey Tabor, BCC's Transfer Counselor, Amanda Garceau, Jessica Russo, and Michael Bullock, BCC's Dean of Student Affairs & Enrollment Services stand with a statue of General Francis Bartlett at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

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