PTK All-Stars Recognized at Statewide Ceremony


Lynn Rowlands and Onessa Freasier, two top-performing MCCC students who are members of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) National Honor Society, have been selected to the 2008 All-State Academic Team. A recognition ceremony hosted by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges was held May 1 at the New Jersey State House and the Trenton Marriott for winning students from the state's 19 community colleges. (PTK members must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.)

Both Rowlands and Freasier have been true Mercer leaders. Rowlands has served five terms as president of the college's PTK chapter, and was selected as a Middle States Region "Hall of Honor" awardee at the PTK convention in Philadelphia in April. As a result of her dedication and active leadership, Mercer's chapter earned five-star status this year, a level not reached since 1999. Rowlands has participated in a long list of PTK, college, and community events, and was selected for the Student Government Leadership Award four times. She assisted in developing the chapter website and currently maintains it. She has carried out all of her academic and PTK activities while working full-time as an assistant treasurer for Roma Bank.

Rowlands notes that Mercer has been a part of her life since she was a child. "I went to my first play at Kelsey Theatre. I learned to swim in the college pool. I have pursued four degrees here." Her degrees include banking, computer networking technology, business software applications and Microcomputer systems administration. "I continued my schooling because what I was learning was so useful on the job," she said. She will graduate from Mercer later this month and plans to continue her education at Thomas Edison State College.

Onessa Freasier has served as Phi Theta Kappa's vice president for fellowship, furthering the PTK mission on campus and in the community through events such as bake sales, book sales and induction ceremonies. A Fine Arts major, Freasier serves as president of Mercer's Visual Arts Alliance, which promotes the arts on campus. She has also volunteered at the MCCC Gallery. Freasier has been nominated several times for Who's Who in American Junior Colleges in recognition of her academic achievements.

MCCC's Lynn Rowlands, left, and Onessa Freasier
stood with other All-State PTK members
for a candle lighting ceremony.
(L. to r.) PTK advisor Helene Plank, award winners Onessa Freasier and Lynn Rowlands, and advisor Laura Sosa.
Rowlands and Freasier are "friends for life."

Freasier will complete her Mercer degree in December and plans to transfer to continue her education in Art History. She notes that she chose Mercer specifically for its Fine Arts program and is especially grateful to Assistant Professor Mark Stockton, who, she says, " is brilliant and approachable. He helped me not just with art, but with life." She also expressed her appreciation to Art Professor Mel Leipzig for his ability to nurture each student's artistic talents. "He is a precious person," she said. Freasier is the mother of an eight-year-old daughter.

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