Ceremony honors ‘29 Who Shine’

29 Who Shine Kimberly Chao and Asil Oztekin, Assistant Professor at Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell.

They are leaders, workers, dreamers and achievers.

The “29 Who Shine” ceremony on May 8 at the State House recognized both outstanding graduating students from the state’s public higher education campuses and the educators who, as one student put it, helped them cross the finish line.

Leaders from many of the campuses, elected officials and members of Governor Deval Patrick’s administration joined parents and family members in celebrating the students’ accomplishments.

One student from each of the state’s 15 community colleges, nine state universities and five UMass campuses was selected to be honored for outstanding achievement. The honorees have diverse backgrounds and range in age from 18 to forty-something. Some were born outside the United States; others have fought wars overseas.

All of the award recipients demonstrated a work ethic and a set of values that caught the attention of their respective campuses. Click here to learn more about the students who were honored.

29 Who Shine Professor Andrella King, left, and Nene Aissatou Diallo from Roxbury Community College.

During the ceremony at the Grand Staircase in the State House, Secretary of Education Matthew Malone urged the recipients to “come back.”

“We need you to be teachers and leaders. You are our role models,” Malone told the students.

Each award recipient recognized a faculty or staff member who served as a mentor.

Jerry Kiahon, graduating from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, said his mentor, psychology professor Deborah Foss, “helped me when I was struggling with courses and pushed me to never give up.”

“It’s awesome to see you in the spotlight,” Massachusetts Community College Council President Joe LeBlanc told the graduating students at a luncheon after the ceremony.  “We are proud of all your work.”

Related Resources:

  • Shining examples of students and public higher education faculty, coverage of the 2013 honorees
  • Use the hashtag, #29whoshine, to view photos on Flickr or tweets on Twitter
  • Meet the 29 Who Shine

Event Coverage on Twitter