Gwinnett Tech confers most graduation awards in college system

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Gwinnett Technical College's 2010 graduates -- more than 1,350 students in all -- were honored at the college's June commencement ceremony, urged by teachers and mentors to gain confidence from their proven strengths and abilities.

Gwinnett Tech conferred a total of 2,541 graduation awards so far this year, the most in the Technical College System of Georgia. Gwinnett Tech also awarded the highest number of associate degrees in the system with 456.

"You all have already made a positive and substantial change by choosing to come to Gwinnett Tech for an education that provides practical, relevant knowledge. You must continue to believe in your own individual abilities and strengths," Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Bartels told the graduates. "In addition, you must continue to have faith in the knowledge your instructors gave you, in your fellow students, in the power of Gwinnett County to attract new businesses, and finally in the ability of our state and nation to gain economic health."

This marks the third consecutive year that Gwinnett Tech has conferred the state's largest number of graduate awards, reflecting both the college's strong growth trend and the commitment to student retention and success championed by college administrators and instructors.

Gwinnett Tech has recorded double-digit enrollment growth for 13 consecutive quarters, with enrollment for Spring Quarter 2010 up more than 20 percent as compared to the prior year.

Gwinnett Tech students get $95K in scholarships

The Gwinnett Tech Foundation recently awarded scholarships for academic excellence and achievement to 74 students totaling $95,950 at Gwinnett Technical College's annual Awards Ceremony. Students were recognized for achievements in academic, vocational and occupational skills, as well as leadership and teamwork.

"We're very excited to honor so many well deserving students," said Sharon Bartels, president of Gwinnett Technical College. "We had a record number of award recipients -- a great testament to our students and their dedication to community service and academic excellence."

Radiologic technology student Dana Bowers was named Gwinnett Tech's 2010 Distinguished Student at the ceremony. Bowers was honored with the award for her academic excellence, dedication to community outreach and her ability to overcome adversity. Bowers first earned her GED at Gwinnett Tech and has become an A student and exemplary leader while enrolled in the radiologic technology program.

Bowers is also the president of the Association for Future Radiologic Technologists and has been an active Gwinnett Tech student ambassador since 2009. She participates in radiologic technology department community service projects, including Relay For Life.

"Dana has worked hard to become a knowledgeable, proficient radiographer," said program director Jim Sass, who nominated Bowers for the award. "While in school, she has demonstrated her enthusiasm for learning, evidenced by these clinical faculty comments: 'Dana is a pleasure to have. She catches on very quickly and absorbs new things easily. She has excelled in both the classroom and the clinical environment.'"

Bowers was selected from a group of six finalists which included Dee Gardner, interior design; Odam Ochea, information security; Lisa Dyer, environmental horticulture; Casey Best, office technology; and Richard Pickens, commercial construction.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.