Front Row: Keagan McKinney, Brittany Nielsen, Patricia Kabagabo, Alysia Bryant, Olivia Piscitello, Kathryn Withers, Jean Twagirayesu Back Row: Brandon Stewart, Travis Clark, Icaro Souza, Michael Rowe, Ethan Dickman, Koll Merriman, Matthew Carpenter, Jonathan Spang, Jordan Allen
Valedictorian Michael Rowe
Commencement Speaker Adam Thomas addresses the graduates
On May 23, Gloucester Biotechnology Academy celebrated its third commencement ceremony at Cape Ann Museum honoring the achievements of the 16 graduates of the Class of 2019. The evening was highlighted by a commencement address delivered by Mr. Adam Thomas, Chief Human Resources Officer at Synlogic (Cambridge) and an ardent supporter of the Academy. Adam has had the unique experience of working with six Academy student interns since 2017, and hiring five of them. Adam’s speech emphasized a strong connection forged between Synlogic and the Academy based on a history of receiving our well-trained lab technicians each year. Adam completed his address by offering some advice for the graduates going forward: “Don’t stop achieving, don’t stop dreaming, and don’t stop believing.”
Two members of the class – Michael Rowe and Jordan Allen -- also addressed the audience. Michael is a 2009 graduate of Essex Technical High School, and class valedictorian. Michael spoke about how his time at the Academy changed his life and taught him how to take responsibility for himself. He also talked about how he had the chance to marry his passions for art and science by creating stained images of different cells at Pandion Therapeutics (Cambridge) during his internship. Michael has been hired as a full-time Associate Scientist I in histology at Pandion.
The night’s second student speaker, Jordan Allen, was recognized as the Zhu-Millman Scholar for his outstanding leadership and academic abilities at the Academy. Jordan shared his story of how traditional education did not appeal to his learning style and how he went into carpentry after high school. Jordan learned about the Academy from a graduate in the Class of 2018, and said his time at the Academy was “one of the best decisions he ever made for himself and most fulfilling things he has ever done.” Jordan also worked at Pandion Therapeutics for his internship and will continue working with the company through the summer.
Less than two weeks after completing internships, three students have been hired full-time, five have had their internships extended, five are interviewing for biotech jobs, and three are applying to college. As the graduates crossed the stage, it was difficult to believe they were the same students who arrived at the Academy in September.
We are proud of the accomplishments of the Class of 2019, and we wish them the very best as they commence their journeys as professional laboratory technicians and college students. Now we turn our focus to the Class of 2020, beginning September 3rd.
*Photography ©Dave Stotzer, Cape Ann Photography
Graduate Kathryn Withers shakes hands with John Bell as she walks across stage to get her diploma
Graduate Jean Twagirayesu celebrates with his family and friends
GMGI staff and volunteers Elizabeth Brannon, Zach Dench, Joe Rosa, Paul Higgins, KD Dench and Rebecca Barnard
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