Berkshire Community College (BCC) student Raymond Dunham has earned two academic awards including being named one of "29 Who Shine" as well as "2013 Coca-Cola Gold Scholar."
A resident of Pittsfield, Dunham came to BCC after suffering a serious spinal injury at his job. Unable to work he found himself at a crossroads. A father of six, two of his daughters encouraged him to go back to school. After hearing inspiring stories from other adult students at BCC, Dunham enrolled and quickly became a role model for his children and other students.
A Criminal Justice major with a 3.7 GPA, Dunham has been very active in campus activities. He served as a Student Government Ambassador as well as the elected student representative to the Board of Trustees for two years.
BCC President Ellen Kennedy said, "Ray is the embodiment of a successful student. He is intelligent and highly motivated to learn. We have been fortunate to have Ray as a student, a leader and a friend. Everyone at BCC knows that he will continue to succeed - not only academically, but in life."
Presented by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, "29 Who Shine" recognizes outstanding students representing each of the 29 public campuses. The honorees, chosen because of their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service, stand poised to contribute greatly to
the civic life and economic well-being of the state.
The awards ceremony, held today at the Massachusetts State House, celebrates the student honorees as well as a faculty or staff member whom each of them felt had the greatest impact on their college education and experience. Dunham selected Deborah Carderella, a secretary with BCC's Humanities Division, for helping him navigate BCC and for keeping him focused.
The "2013 Coca-Cola Gold Scholar" award was based on scores earned in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition, for which more than 1,800 applications were received this year. The program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In addition to being awarded $1,500, Dunham also received a gold medallion. Only fifty gold scholars are awarded each year throughout the country.
Dunham plans to continue his studies at UMass, and eventually earn his law degree.
"I'm very grateful for both awards. I've worked very hard to achieve the goals I've set for myself, but it was the support and help from the faculty and staff at BCC that made it all possible," said Dunham. My experiences at BCC have been life changing and I will continue to represent BCC in an exemplary manner and forever cherish my time here."