Batavia, NY- Genesee Community College is pleased to recognize three adult students who have earned the Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education (RACCE) Award, which recognizes adult students who successfully balance their college studies with other responsibilities. Constance Eadie, Bernadette Penkszyk and Candice Murphy were honored at the RACCE banquet in Rochester on April 22, 2015.
Connie Eadie, 48, was apprehensive when she started at GCC two years ago. She had dropped out of high school 28 years prior and, now a mother and grandmother, worried she wouldn’t fit in. “What I found was that I was accepted and I made some wonderful, amazing, life-long friends…of all ages!!” Connie, of Le Roy, is pursuing a Paralegal Studies degree and revitalized the Paralegal Club. She earned a Leadership Certificate, became an orientation leader, was named Student of the Month in March 2015 and has maintained excellent grades throughout, earning President’s List honors every semester. She is no longer afraid about starting a new career because she believes GCC has given her the confidence and skills that she has something to offer. After graduation this May she hopes to work in a family law office, “somewhere that I feel I can really make a difference helping people.”
Bernadette Penkszyk returned to GCC in fall 2014, enrolling in the new Food Processing Technology degree program. She became interested in the program while working at Alpina Foods, and though she was laid off, she plans to continue toward earning an FPT degree in 2016. It won’t be her first degree from the College. In 1999, she graduated from the Computer Repair and Electrical Technology program and worked in these arenas for years. In between running a seasonal rental business and being a school bus driver for Alexander Central Schools, Bernadette returned to GCC to try the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, Web Design, and most recently FPT. She has maintained a strong desire to learn, and is a true example of someone taking advantage of the many opportunities GCC has to offer.
When Candice Murphy walked into GCC’s Lima Campus Center in fall 2013, she was so anxious she thought she might melt. The welcoming staff eased her anxiety and Candice enrolled full time, making the President’s List. She did this while providing 24 hour care for a veteran, children and a home. Her life has undergone tremendous change since that first semester. She took on a new job, a new home, raising children alone, and a mother with health concerns. She earned Dean’s List honors her second and third semesters and continues to do it all, fast approaching her degree in Human Services.
RACCE seeks to recognize adults who have been especially successful at balancing college study with other adult responsibilities and the winners are selected under the following criteria:
•Must be pursuing a degree
•Must have completed at least half of the hours for degree requirements
•Must show success at combining college study with other responsibilities of family, job, career and/or community service
“We are constantly amazed at all the things our adult students accomplish,” said Cliff Scutella, GCC director of Student Activities. “We hope their success will inspire others who may be thinking about college but need a little push. Let these women inspire you!”
For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A photograph of the RACCE winners at the Awards Banquet in Rochester:
Caption: GCC adult students with their RACCE awards (from L to R) Bernadette Penkszyk, Constance Eadie and Candice Murphy