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MCCC Celebrates Grads' Academic Achievements
At Honors Convocation

6/1/11


West Windsor, N.J. - During Mercer's Honors Convocation, which preceded commencement on May 26, the college recognized the academic achievements of close to 100 special graduates at Kelsey Theatre.

As proud family members and friends looked on, MCCC faculty and administrators presented students with academic certificates and scholarships in honor of their achievements. Among the honorees were 15 members of Alpha Theta Gamma, MCCC's chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, 19 NJ STARS graduates, and nine Honors Program graduates.

Some of the college's highest achievers received multiple awards. NJ STARS student Patrick Puliti received the Dowd/Fessler Memorial Scholarship for Achievement in Biology and the Rick Rednor AIDS Foundation Scholarship. He was also recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Organic Chemistry. He will attend Rutgers University in the fall, with plans to become a physician specializing in infectious diseases.

Another NJ STARS student, Cheryl Hicks, graduates with a double major in math and computer science. She received the Professor Betty Wallace Cornelius Mathematics Excellence Award and an Albert B. Kahn Scholarship to continue her studies at The College of New Jersey, where she will major in computer science.

International student Loc Tran, who hails from Vietnam, received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Business Administration. Tran was an active member of the International Student Organization and Phi Theta Kappa. A three-star PTK graduate, he was one of two students to represent Mercer this spring on the PTK All-State Academic Team. He has received a generous scholarship from Drexel University to continue his studies in Business.

PTK grad Lauren-Carmel Sirak received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Dance and was selected for an Albert B. Kahn Scholarship. Her choreography was featured in the MCCC Student Dance Concert earlier this year. She performed with fellow dance students in New York City and with Battery Dance Company at Kelsey Theatre. She hopes to one day start a non-profit dance school in Trenton.

At 18, Max Skula is MCCC's youngest grad this year. He received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Chemistry and an Albert B. Kahn Scholarship to continue his studies at Rutgers School of Engineering, where he will major in Chemical Engineering. He is a three-star PTK awardee.

This year's scholar athletes are Mark Pratico and Jessica Villalba. The two soccer players received Dr. Cynthia Schaffer Memorial Scholarships and MCCC Athletics Scholarships. Practico will transfer to Rider University, where he plans to major in English with the goal of being a teacher, while Villalba graduates with an A.S. in Exercise Science and will transfer to Rowan University to continue her studies. Villalba also received the MCCC Faculty Association Scholarship in honor of Professor Emeritus Davis E. Collier.

More photos are available on MCCC's Facebook page here.

Soccer players Mark Pratico, left, and Jessica Villalba were selected as MCCC's Scholar Athletes for 2011. They are pictured with Assistant Dean and Athletics Director John Simone.
Family and friends filled the back rows of Kelsey Theatre as graduates wait to be called.



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Graduate Patrick Puliti (center) with, from left, Dean of Science and Health Professions Linda Martin, Marcy Beck, presenter of the Dowd/Fessler Memorial Scholarship, President Patricia C. Donohue and Vice President for Academic Affairs Guy Generals.
Graduate Cheryl Hicks (center) with, from left, Dean of Liberal Arts Robin Schore, donor Jeffrey Cornelius, President Patricia C. Donohue and Vice President for Academic Affairs Guy Generals.
International student Loc Tran (center) with, from left, Acting Dean of Business Winston Maddox and Professor Framarz Khoushab, President Patricia C. Donohue and Vice President for Academic Affairs Guy Generals.
Dance major Lauren-Carmel Sirak (center) with, from left, Arts and Communication Dean Judy Ehresman, Associate Professor James Kelly, President Patricia C. Donohue and Vice President for Academic Affairs Guy Generals.
Grad Max Skula (center) with, from left, Dean Linda Martin, Associate Professor Helen Tanzini, President Patricia C. Donohue and Vice President for Academic Affairs Guy Generals.
From left, Honors Program coordinators, Associate English Professor Carol Bork and Sociology Professor Gianna Durso-Finley, Vice President for Academic Affairs Guy Generals, Honors students Sarah Dodge, Judy Henry, Rebecca Lewark and Kyle Walsh, and President Patricia C. Donohue.