Convocation Celebrates Graduates' Achievement
N.J. - During Honors Convocation, which preceded commencement
on May 20, the college celebrated its highest-achieving students,
awarding 74 academic certificates and scholarships, and recognizing
21 Phi Theta Kappa graduates, 37 NJ STARS graduates, and 13
Honors Program graduates.
Who are these stellar grads? They are a diverse group -- in
age, ethnicity and gender -- reflecting the fascinating melting
pot that is Mercer County Community College. With the MCCC
Honors Program now well-establised, this year saw a large
increase in the number of students who graduated with this
designation. Also notable were the number of students who
graduated through the NJ STARS program. Here are a few of
Do Not Hinder Achievement
barely slowed down Colleen Rovelli as she made her
way to the stage to accept the award for outstanding achievement
in Business Management. For Rovelli the crutches were symbolic
of a long, hard journey to graduation day.
2004, working full time and raising two children, Rovelli
started taking one or two classes at Mercer each semester
with the goal of enhancing her skills. Life intervened and
she was forced to suspend her education for a time. Then in
fall 2009, she got serious about completing her degree. Having
always wanted to open her own business, Rovelli said, I
decided I was going to do this for me.
of nine siblings from Newfoundland, Canada, Rovelli is the
first in her family to earn a college degree. She credits
a group of MCCC professors with giving her a huge helping
hand. They became like family to me, giving me advice
and encouragement, Rovelli said. They gave me
the strength to push harder when things got tough. They put
me on a path to success. I will forever hold a special place
in my heart for these people.
Rovelli, center, with, from left, Acting Dean Winston Maddox,
Professor Ellen Benowitz, MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue
and Vice President for Academic Affairs Guy Generals.
A single mom, Rovelli attended the honors ceremony with her
11-year-old son, Domenic, and her fiancé, Rick McCall.
Her message to single mothers? Never give up,
she said. The more that happened to me, the more determined
to her post as an administrative assistant at an engineering
firm, Rovelli plans to start a catering business this summer
that will feature some of the recipes of her native Newfoundland.
She is also writing a cookbook memoir about growing up in
Newfoundland. Ever try to pick berries while being chased
by a bear? she asks.
Two Self-Professed "Nerds" Establish Math Club
Allaire and Scott Schornstaedt are math nerds and
proud of it. A year ago, they started the MCCC Math Club under
advisor and faculty member Yvonne Greenbaum. Part study group,
part social club, they are hopeful it will continue as they
both transfer on to Rutgers University to continue their studies.
Allaire and Schornstaedt were both selected to receive Professor
Betty Wallace Cornelius Excellence in Mathematics scholarships.
Allaire, an NJ STARS graduate, also earned the Academic Affairs
Allaire, left, and Scott Schornstaed
Moves from Culinary Field to Science Lab
Formerly in the culinary field, James Hodges III decided
it was time for a career change and chose to start again at
Mercer. A chemistry major, Hodges completed research and participated
in science outreach activities as part of his Mercer experience.
"Mercer has been great. I saved money and really got
along well with my professors," he said.
Hodges graduates with high honors. He was presented with three
academic awards: the MCCC Faculty Association Scholarship
in honor of Professor Emeritus David Collier; the Professor
Betty Wallace Cornelius Excellence in Mathematics Award; and
the Outstanding Achievement in Organic Chemistry Award.
He will continue his education at Rider University as a chemistry-math
major. He plans to pursue a graduate degree and work as a
Hodges, center, is pictured with, from left, Professor Linda
scholarship donor Jeffrey Cornelius, Associate Professor Richard
Porter, President Patricia C. Donohue and VP Guy Generals.
Mechanical Engineer Earns
Priti Joshi is the recipient of the Mallinkrodt Medical
Recognition Award, presented to a radiography graduate for
professional excellence in the clinical phase of the program.
Raising two children with husband Kartik, she was a stay-at-home
mom before returning to school.
her academic experience at Mercer was outstanding "I
feel confident as I move forward in my career." She credits
her husband with providing invaluable support as she tackled
the challenging radiography curriculum.
Joshi has a prior degree in mechanical engineering from Mumbai
University and previously worked as a design engineer.
Joshi, center, is pictured with, from left, Dean Linda Martin,
Radiography Program coordinator Sandra Kerr, President Patricia
C. Dohonoue and Vice President Guy Generals.
is Recipient of
Electronics Engineering Award
Christopher Collins is the recipient of MCCC's Outstanding
Achievement in Electronics Engineering Award. He was praised
for enhancing program equipment and developing teaching aids.
In addition, he served as treasurer for Mercer's chapter of
the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and worked as a reporter
and ad manager for the college newspaper.
Collins is a returning adult student who served in the U.S.
Air Force for 12 years, most recently as a biomedical equipment
repair technician. He graduates with highest honors and will
transfer to the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Wife Yvonne says Collins is also an innovator around the house.
Among his inventions are mechanisms that allow hanging planters
to descend for watering and doors that close electronically.
Collins with wife Yvonne following the honors ceremony at Kelsey
Program graduates,from left, Jaime Bravo, Ryan Mark, David Hoyt,
Brian Kaplan and Ashley Stumbaugh with Honors Program Coordinators,
faculty members Giana Durso-Finley and Carol Bork, and President
Patricia C. Donohue, far right.
Not pictured: Leo Capoferri, Piers Duffel, Sarah Fodor, Sara
Gatling, Edwin Harmor, Daisuke Katsumata, Yu Lung Law, Adrienne
Sherwin and Kent Watanabe.
guaduates with VP Guy Generals, far left, and President Patriciia
C. Donohue, far right.
STARS graduates with Dean Diane Campbell, far left, and President
Patricia C. Donohue, far right.
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