Genesee Community College Honors November Employee and Student of the Month
December 04, 2013
Batavia, NY- Genesee Community College is pleased to announce Lourdes Abaunza has been named November 2013 Employee of the Month. Lourdes is from Masaya, Nicaragua in Central America. But at GCC she says “I feel right at home, and I love the friendly environment!”
Lourdes is the Student Financial Services Advisor in GCC’s Business Office. She works directly with students, communicating important financial deadlines, handling the billing and administering payment plans, among other things. “She is devoted in her assistance to students and willingly goes above and beyond to help,” the College noted in naming her Employee of the Month. “Her ability to speak Spanish has been a real asset in helping students and parents who would otherwise have difficulty understanding our processes and procedures.”
Lourdes began her current position in February 2012, but she’s been a part of the GCC family for much longer. While a student in Fall 2007, she worked in the Business Office. A Dean’s List and President’s List student, Lourdes earned her Associate Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from GCC. She went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from The College at Brockport where she was also on the Dean’s List. During her time at Brockport she returned to GCC several times as a temporary worker and for an internship. “GCC has become a very important aspect of my life. I believe it’s played a huge part of who I have become today,” she said.
Lourdes has had a variety of work experiences from teacher assistant to translator, hotel clerk to fast food restaurant crew supervisor. As the College notes “Lourdes’ strong work ethic and professionalism are commendable.”
Lourdes is the youngest of four girls. Outside of work she enjoys exercising, home decorating and spending time with family and friends. She resides in Batavia.
Genesee Community College is also pleased to announce Candace Cooper has been named the November 2013 Student of the Month. A native of Webster, New York, 19-year old Candace is a 2012 graduate of Webster Schroeder High School. She is the recipient of several awards including the Young Entrepreneur Academy Award in 2010, the 2011-12 Black Scholar Award and the 2012 Davidson Scholarship.
At GCC, Candace is majoring in Fashion Design. “I came [here] looking to explore what a career in the fashion industry entailed,” she said. “I wanted to get my feet wet before going to the big city. I loved the idea of the two plus two program that Genesee Community College had to offer, so immediately I knew this would be a great start!”
Candace has immersed herself in everything GCC’s well-regarded Fashion program has to offer. She has designed her own clothes for the annual Spring Fashion Show and most recently arranged the campus visit of Project Runway Season 9 winner Anya Ayoung Chee. In naming her student of the month, the College noted the “outstanding project management and leadership” Candace provided for the event. “She puts in many hours creating garments, and on more than one occasion, has had the opportunity to showcase her ability to sew and contribute to various events.”
After completing two years at GCC, Candace plans to study marketing and communications at LIM (Laboratory Institute of Merchandising) College in New York City. It is one of several fashion schools in New York with which GCC has seamless articulation. Candace has lofty goals. “I eventually want to own my own fashion empire before the age of thirty.” She has the drive to match and appreciates the knowledge she’s gaining at GCC. “I love the great experiences and opportunities that the program offers, the encouraging professors who are very supportive and want success for each and every student.”
Candace is the daughter of Beverly and Louis Cooper and has four siblings, Louis Jr., Tiffany, Quianna, and Jakera.
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A photograph of Lourdes Abaunza is available at:
A photograph of Candace Cooper is available at:
Caption: Project Runway Season 9 Winner Anya Ayoung Chee with GCC President Dr. James Sunser and Candace Cooper