BOSTON – The Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC) hosted a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House to honor some of the highest academic achievers of the community college system during the 2018-2019 academic year. Surrounded by family, college presidents, elected officials, and mentors, the student awardees were presented with medallions and certificates for being named to Phi Theta Kappa’s All-Massachusetts Academic Team. Every year, MACC hosts this event at the State House in Boston to showcase the nationally recognized students of the 15-college system. The event is co-sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society and the Coca-Cola Foundation. Tuesday’s event took place in the Great Hall of Flags of the State House and featured remarks from Dr. Patricia Marshall, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Student Success at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Dr. Valerie Roberson, president of Roxbury Community College, served as the master of ceremonies.
“Every year, this event highlights some of our most exemplary students,” said Dr. Roberson. “These individuals have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and will be leaders in their future careers. We look forward to seeing their continued accomplishments at four-year institutions, in the workforce, and in their local communities.”
In addition to membership on the All-Massachusetts Academic Team, six students earned additional recognition through scholarships from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the All-USA Academic Team. First, Harrison Davis and Ryan Duggan of North Shore Community College both received $1,000 scholarships for being named Coca-Cola Foundation Bronze Medal Scholars. Next, Cassparina Carlson from Mount Wachusett Community College received a $1,250 scholarship as this year’s Coca- Cola Foundation Silver Medal Scholar. Then, Quinsigamond Community College’s Ashley Forhan received a $1,500 scholarship as a Coca-Cola Foundation Gold Medal Scholar. Finally, two Bunker Hill Community College students received additional honors due to their All-USA Academic Team scores.
The student receiving the highest All-USA Academic Team application score in each state is named a New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar or a New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar. Students nominated for the Workforce Pathway are planning to enter the workforce after completing a certificate or associate degree, and students nominated for the Transfer Pathway are planning to transfer to the four- year college after graduation. Romina Gjacaj from Bunker Hill Community College was this year’s New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar. She was awarded a $1,250 scholarship for this honor. Also, Bunker Hill Community College student Cam Do was this year’s New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar. As the top-scoring community college student in the Commonwealth, she was awarded a $2,250 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Foundation. Finally, Ms. Do was also recognized for her academic achievement and service to the campus community as an All-USA Top 20 Scholar. She is one of just twenty students from across the country that is a member of this select group; she receives a $5,000 scholarship for this accomplishment.
The 2019 Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team members are:
- Berkshire Community College students Alicia Starsja and Soncere Williams;
- Bristol Community College student William Platt;
- Bunker Hill Community College students Cam Do, Romina Gjacaj and Eva Montrond;
- Cape Cod Community College students Emma Perry and Kai Catalina Pombo;
- Greenfield Community College students Carrie Hale and Morgan Lobrose;
- Holyoke Community College students Nathan Wytrwal and Jamie Murray;
- MassBay Community College student Manisha Kasana;
- Massasoit Community College students Camilla Miquelina, Cheryl Moneghan, Kimberly Nashawaty, Kinga Auguste and Janaine Moraes;
- Middlesex Community College students Lauren Moran, Moniroth Siek, Sima Bilanian and Karen Onuoha;
- Mount Wachusett Community College students Nicholas Batutis and Cassparina Carlson;
- North Shore Community College students Harrison Davis, Ryan Duggan, Nirwendjie Altidor, and Robert Boisvert;
- Northern Essex Community College students Steevie Litchfield-Groves and Brendan Romero;
- Quinsigamond Community College students Keveny Dort and Ashley Forhan;
- Roxbury Community College students Samantha Morrow and Gabriela Tarantini; and
- Springfield Technical Community College students Lylandria Wills and Matthew Shea.
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is the international honor society of two-year colleges. PTK has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students for 100 years while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa.
The Massachusetts Association Community Colleges (MACC) represents and advocates on behalf of the fifteen community colleges in the Commonwealth. Located all across Massachusetts, the community colleges serve more than 156,000 students.