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Mercer’s Honor Society All-Stars Honored in Trenton Ceremony


TRENTON – The brightest and best from the state’s 19 community colleges came together May 1 for the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) Phi Theta Kappa Day (PTK), and Mercer County Community College (MCCC) was well represented for the 20th annual event.

Mercer students Fabiola Pincay of Trenton and Timothy Pitonyak of Hamilton were honored during the ceremony, with MCCC President Patricia Donohue, chair of the New Jersey Community College Presidents, announcing the Academic All-Star members from colleges throughout New Jersey. Each year the NJCCC hosts the event to recognize the members of the New Jersey All-State Academic Team, which is sponsored by the PTK international community college honor society, the Coca-Cola Foundation, and the New Jersey Education Association.

"I was amazed, and what I experienced was totally unexpected," Pincay said of her education at Mercer. "Community colleges offer so many opportunities, and I am proud to represent the community college I attended."

Pincay said one of the highlights of her Mercer career was being selected as an intern at Genesis Biotechnology Group, a Hamilton-based medical research company, where she worked on a project investigating the roles of tumor suppressors and genes that have the potential to cause cancers.

"I had opportunities that I couldn’t have gotten as a freshman at a four-year school," Pincay said. "The Biology and Chemistry professors at Mercer are great, they are very dedicated. I love them."

Pincay, a Biology and Chemistry major at Mercer, has been accepted at the School of Environmental and Biological Science at Rutgers for this fall, where she will enroll as a pre-med student with the goal of becoming a medical doctor. She will be serving an internship at Princeton University this summer.

PTK All-Stars

MCCC President Dr. Patricia Donohue (left) and Mercer Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Dr. Jing Huang (right) with students Fabiola Pincay and Timothy Pitonyak during the NJ Council of Community Colleges PTK Day.

Fabiola and Tim

Mercer Academic All Stars Fabiola Pincay and Timothy Pitonyak during the PTK candle lighting ceremony.

Pitonyak, a Business major, said he made the most of his time at Mercer, being active in PTK and other organizations. He praised the quality of his professors and said he enjoyed his experiences with other students, and ultimately, it will be the people of Mercer he will miss the most when we transfers this fall.

"It’s been wonderful – a great experience," Pitonyak said. "I met a lot of great people. I’m sad to go, but I hope to be back in the future."

Pitonyak is treasurer for the Mercer PTK chapter, as well as the college’s business honor society, Phi Beta Lambda. He will transfer this fall to Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio, to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He said he plans to return to Mercer to take additional classes, both credit and non-credit, in Photography, Web Design, and Small Business Management.

In announcing the members of the All-State Academic Team, Donohue praised the dedication and hard work of the students, and their willingness to lead.

"Members of Phi Theta Kappa must meet some pretty strict criteria," Donohue said, noting that a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average is required. "The members of the All-State Academic Team take those responsibilities to the highest level. In addition to maintaining excellent academic records, they are true leaders in their communities."




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