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MCCC Academic All-Stars Honored in Trenton Ceremony


TRENTON – It was a day to recognize the brightest and best from New Jersey’s 19 community colleges during the New Jersey Council of County College’s (NJCCC) Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Day at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Trenton, when members of the PTK Academic All-Star team were announced.

Representing Mercer County Community College was Mike Chica of Bordentown and Lauren Stout of Lawrenceville, selected based on grade point average, outstanding community service, leadership abilities, and recommendations from instructors.

"Members of Phi Theta Kappa must meet some pretty strict criteria," said MCCC President Dr. Patricia C. Donohue, 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."

Chica, who received degrees from MCCC in Information Technology and Information Systems from Mercer in January, is currently enrolled at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he is majoring in Information Technology with a minor in Information Systems. He credits Mercer with the background he needed to further his education, and encourages future students to pursue every open opportunity.

“These two degrees gave me the credentials I needed to succeed,” Chica said. “Students need to take advantage of every chance to succeed – never give up, and excel in every endeavor.”

PTK All-Stars

MCCC President Dr. Patricia Donohue (left) and Mercer Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Dr. Jing Huang (right) with students Lauren Stout and Mike Chica during the NJ Council of County Colleges' PTK Day.

PTK Ceremony

Mercer Academic All Stars Mike Chica (left) and Lauren Stout (second from right) with MCCC Board of Trustees Treasurer William Coleman and President Dr. Patricia Donohue during the PTK candle lighting ceremony.

Stout, a Criminal Justice major at Mercer, graduates in May and will attend Rider University in the fall as a Finance major, with the goal of going into federal law enforcement. She credits the instructors at Mercer for her success, and preparing her for the next step in her career.

“The professors really set me up for success at a four-year college, and to make connections that I can use later in life,” Stout said. “The professors really care and prepare you for a great future.”

Each year the NJCCC hosts the event to recognize the state’s 40 best community college students as members of the New Jersey All-State Academic Team. The event is sponsored by PTK, the international honor society for community colleges, the Coca-Cola Foundation, and the New Jersey Education Association.

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