Press Release

BHCC’s John Gonsalves Honored as one of '29 Who Shine'

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) student John Gonsalves was one of the 29 graduates of Massachusetts public colleges and universities honored at the State House May 5. Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Education James Peyser, Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos E. Santiago and University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan attended the “29 Who Shine” ceremony.

Governor Baker shakes hands with John Gonsalves

“We congratulate the honorees recognized today for their academic accomplishments and look forward to their continued contributions to the Commonwealth,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “The ‘29 Who Shine’ awards are an important recognition of the impressive work Massachusetts’ college students do to make the Commonwealth’s workforce the best in the country.”

“We are so proud of John for his commitment to academic excellence and leadership,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “We admire his dedication to helping others and know that he will continue to thrive in his future endeavors.”

Gonsalves is an Army Veteran who received a National Defense Service Award for his service as a Combat Medic in Operation Desert Storm. For 22 years, he worked as an EMT for various organizations in the Boston area and trained as a Divemaster. Since coming to Bunker Hill Community College in the fall of 2013, Gonsalves served in a number of leadership capacities. He is a Senator on the Student Government Association, President of the Student Success Club, a New Student Mentor and an ACE Mentor in the Office of Learning Communities. He is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, where he maintains a 3.7 GPA.

Gonsalves will receive his Associate in Arts degree this May and will continue to study at BHCC’s Medical Imaging Program. His goal is to become a Radiologic Technologist in an emergency room where he can help people when they need it most. He will also spend his weekends putting his SCUBA training to use, teaching people to dive for recreational or life-saving purposes.

Launched by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in May 2011, ‘29 Who Shine’ is a commencement season awards program that recognizes 29 outstanding graduates of the Commonwealth’s public higher education system. The student must be a Massachusetts resident who has made an outstanding civic contribution to the state and intends to remain in the Commonwealth upon graduation.

Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts. The College enrolls more than 14,000 students on two campuses and at three satellite locations. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-four percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 1000 international students who come from 107 countries and speak more than 75 languages.

Media Contact:

About Bunker Hill Community College
With more than 50 years of academic excellence, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is Massachusetts' largest community college, annually welcoming a diverse community of around 16,000 students. With campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, BHCC extends its reach across several locations in Greater Boston. The College offers associate degrees and certificates, early college and dual enrollment, community education, corporate training, and industry-specific training programs. BHCC is celebrated for its diversity, boasting a student body where 65% identify as people of color and more than half are women. The College also embraces a global perspective, with over 600 international students representing 90 countries and conversing in more than 65 languages. Our commitment to diversity is further reflected in BHCC's designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).