Graduating HCC student Yoni Rubenstein, of Longmeadow, was honored in Boston Monday as one of the "29 Who Shine," the Dept. of Higher Education's annual awards that recognize one student from each of the 29 public colleges and universities in Massachusetts.
"Lieutenant governor Karyn Polito and I congratulate all 29 of the 2016 award recipients and thank them for their substantial contributions to their campuses and local communities," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "Each of the 29 Who Shine honorees represent our future citizenry and workforce and have already made a positive impact on the Commonwealth."
The awards ceremony was held Monday, May 9, at the base of the Grand Staircase in the Massachusetts State House.
Each of Massachusetts' 29 public college and university campuses selects its own honoree for the "29 Who Shine" awards based on criteria established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Students are required to be residents of Massachusetts who have strong academic profiles and a record of civic engagement.
Rubenstein entered HCC as a dual enrollment student through the Gateway to College program and will graduate May 28 with high honors and associate degrees in both mathematics and computer science.
His 29 Who Shine profile notes his volunteer work as a mentor for students in the Gateway to College program and HCC's STEM Starter Academy and in the community with the Rachel's Table, a nonprofit that helps feed hungry people in Springfield. He also works as a software engineer with Image Insight, a company that creates software that turns smartphone cameras into radiation detectors.
He will transfer to Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he will continue his study of both math and computer science.
"Each of these students is a shining example of what our public higher education system can produce," said Carolos E. Santiago, commissioner of the Dept. of Higher Education. "The outstanding students on this year's list of 29 Who Shine honorees have come from many countries and overcome many obstacles. I am so proud of what they have achieved and look forward to seeing how they continue to put their talents to work on behalf of us all."
Also recognized at the event was HCC English professor Patricia Sullivan, who Rubenstein selected as his mentor.
PHOTOS by CHRIS YURKO: (Left) HCC's Yoni Rubenstein accepts his 29 Who Shine award from Gov. Charlie Baker. (Right) HCC's '29 Who Shine' award recipient Yoni Rubenstein stands in the State House rotunda with his mentor, HCC English professor Patricia Sullivan, and HCC president William Messner.