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By  , Thursday, April 19, 2007


From GIA, Carlsbad, Calif. - Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graduate Brian Denney, who chose gemology over a medical career two years ago, was recently selected as the 2007 Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) Outstanding Distance Education Graduate of the Year.

This annual award, presented by the DETC, is given to the GIA student who upholds the highest standards of academic and personal excellence. The DETC is the national accrediting commission that accredits GIA’s Distance Education courses and programs.

“Brian was an ideal candidate this year because not only did he excel in his GIA courses, but he is also very involved in developing his family’s business and spends a lot of his time volunteering in the surrounding community,” said Brook Ellis, the Institute’s vice president of Education.

Denney started GIA’s Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) program in 2005 after he studied microbiology at the University of Illinois in Urbana and spent time in the medical field.

“I worked at a hospital for a year and decided I was a person who was emotionally affected by those around me. I wanted to be in a place where people were happy,” he said. “The jewelry industry is blessed in that the clients are celebrating life and moments, and you are able to be a part of that happiness.”

Denney is a third-generation jeweler who serves as vice president of his family’s business, Denney Jewelers. The 26-year-old recently oversaw the store’s move from a small-town retail space to a 10,000-square-foot, free-standing location in Springfield, Ill. Denney is also a member of the Illinois Jewelry Association Board of Directors and frequently visits local elementary schools to teach children the value of education.

“I’m honored and blessed to have received the high caliber of education provided by GIA,” Denney said. “My training has helped put our family in a position to succeed in our new market area, and I know that it will continue to help not only me, but my entire family as we work together.”

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About GIA


An independent nonprofit organization, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is recognized as the world's foremost authority in gemology. Established in 1931, GIA has translated its expert knowledge into the most respected gemological education available. In 1953, the Institute created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world. Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. More information can be found on GIA’s website at Media queries contact: Laura Simanton, 760-603-4112.

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