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GEM graduates nearly 40 students from Cohort VI & VII

July 23, 2013

Cohort 6 & 7

Nearly 40 GEM students from Cohorts VI and VII ceremoniously graduated on June 22 at the Westin Denver Hotel.

“Both graduating classes were special in different ways but I see great things in the future for all of them,” said Lizzy McNaney-Juster, GEM Program Coordinator. “My message would be this, ‘Treat everyone as you would like to be treated yourself without exception.’”

Lecturer Melissa Wood was the MC for the day, and John Mork, President and Chief Executive Officer of Energy Corporation of America, was the keynote speaker. Daniel Schmidt was selected from Cohort VI to give a graduation speech, and Doug Pearlman represented Cohort VII.

“It is programs like this that are going to push young professionals to next level of their careers,” Pearlman said. “Energy is fundamental to our increasing the global society and being a part of a program like this designed to educate and train has changed the way we all think about it. We’ll take with us not only an outstanding education and the tools needed to start tackling tomorrow’s energy challenges, but a powerful network that we can depend on and continue to depend on for years to come.”

Schmidt’s speech focused on all the work the GEM students put in while preparing themselves for the opportunities that lie ahead.

“For the 18 months that we were in this program we prepared our fields for rain.” Schmidt said. “We now have a broader understanding of economics, finance and accounting. We have a deeper knowledge of the legal principles and the geopolitical issues surrounding energy around the globe. We have explored theories of leadership, human resources management and strategic planning. In short we are prepared for new opportunities.”

Cohort VI nominated GEM lecturer Gary Hapken as its recipient for the Professor Appreciation Award, and Michael Orlando was selected by Cohort VII. A GEM Appreciation Award was also given to Jen Martin, a GEM alumna who was a member of Cohort I.

“Melissa did a great job as the MC, the speeches delivered by Dan and Doug were outstanding and watching the classes of Cohort VI and VII graduate was impressive,” said Lizzy McNaney-Juster. “I personally was proud to know that I was part of that. Congratulations!”

McNaney-Juster was also flattered to be recognized by the two cohorts with a GEM staff member appreciation award.

“It truly touched my heart and it took everything I had not to cry in front of everyone, the students become integrated into your way of life during the 18 months and it is like setting them free on the world,” she said. “I have high expectations for them and hope that they know that although they have finished their classes, they can always contact the GEM team and know they are still part of the elite GEM family. I know I am going to miss them all so much on the weekends and sincerely hope that they will become involved with the alumni, share their news on the Facebook page etc. and basically stay in touch.”

The graduation took place in an intimate setting with a total of 38 students graduating, 20 from Cohort VII and 18 from for Cohort VI. The GEM Program, launched in 2008, now has more than 150 alumni.

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