2023 PTK All-MA Academic Team
Ethan Trautman, Berkshire Community College
Ethan Trautman is a Nursing Student at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield. He is serving as the President of the Xi Alpha Chapter for the 2022-2023 academic year. He was also formerly the Vice President of New England PTK for the 2021-2022 academic year. Last year, Ethan was the Valedictorian of Berkshire Community College. Ethan will be graduating again with an Associate Degree in Nursing this spring. He enjoys playing hockey, hiking, and strategy games in his free time. He also has an identical twin who is currently studying Math at Vanderbilt University. After graduation, Ethan will work as a Registered Nurse in Oncology at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. He plans on attending the University Of Alaska Anchorage, his parents’ alma mater, to complete his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Carissa Crossley, Bristol Community College
Carissa Crossley is a student at Bristol Community College in Massachusetts. She is currently studying prerequisite courses for the Regis College Bachelor of Nursing program which she has been accepted to enter in the Fall of 2023. She earned her Associates of Arts degree from Palm Beach Community College in May of 2022. She is the Chief Officer of Public Relations for Phi Theta Kappa Club at Bristol. Her responsibilities include managing all marketing and social media publications. Carissa is a pioneer of dance therapy at Bristol Community College, where she curated, organized, and participated in leading several Ecstatic Dance events. Her drive to become a nurse practitioner is rooted in her compassion for the suffering of others. Carissa is a single mother who sees generational wealth in education. Some of her favorite hobbies include sailing, camping, and volunteering for the Fall River Re-Creation Sailing Program.
Aiden Morgado, Bristol Community College
Aiden Morgado is a student at Bristol Community College. His most recent job title LAL Technician at Associates of Cape Cod. He is President of Bristol’s chapter Phi Theta Kappa Club, where he enjoys planning service events, guest speaker events, and extracurricular events. Some examples include ecstatic dance events, a Fulbright speaker event, and a podcast. Aiden will receive his associate degree in biology in May of 2023 and plans to continue education at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he will earn a bachelor’s degree. He is passionate about biological systems, and he finds works by Robert Sapolsky and Andrew Huberman at Stanford to be especially interesting. As a biologist, he hopes to earn at least a master’s degree and become involved in neurobiology as a passion and research concentration. Aiden is eternally grateful to those who help him succeed.
Magny Gisele Bohui Epse Breguhe, Bunker Hill Community College
Magny Gisele Bohui Epse Breguhe is from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. A candidate for an associate in arts in Business at Bunker Hill Community College, Bohui has already achieved significant academic success. Her hard work and dedication have been rewarded with multiple grants from the PepsiCo Foundation and membership in several prestigious organizations, including Phi Theta Kappa, the Commonwealth Honors Program and The National Society of Leadership and Success. In addition to her accomplishments, Bohui was named a semi-finalist for the national and prestigious Jack Kent Cook Scholarship this year. Nurturing the dream of creating a consulting company that can help individuals, businesses and organizations meet their financial challenges, Bohui is determined to develop a leadership that allows it to have a real impact in the world of finance, and Phi Theta Kappa’s Leadership Development Studies program perfectly meets her ambitions. Admitted to Suffolk University and Northeastern University, Bohui is promised a bright future and undertakes to continue her studies with a view to obtaining a bachelor’s degree in finance. Thanks to her dedication, intelligence and ambition, there is no doubt that she will achieve great things in her chosen field.
Makayla Crowley, Cape Cod Community College
Makayla Crowley is a 20 year old student studying Communications at Cape Cod Community College. After graduating with her Associates degree, she is going to further her education by attending Western Carolina University to complete her Bachelor’s degree. At 4Cs, Makayla is involved in Phi Theta Kappa, The Debate Club, and The Mainsheet School Newspaper, all while working as a medical receptionist and social media manager. She was also recently nominated for The National Society of Leadership and Success. In her free time she likes to write poetry, listen to podcasts, and research self improvement. Makayla is a first generation college student with a passion for helping people know they are capable of their dreams. She is always looking out for ways to be a better human, and hopes to make a significant impact on society as a whole.
Caitlin Grosso, Cape Cod Community College
Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver As an avid lover of nature and literature, Caitlin Grosso has dreamed of becoming a writer since elementary school. From a young age, she wrote short fantasy stories about her explorations and observations of the world around her as she grew up in Yarmouth, Massachusetts with her family. She graduated from Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in 2018 and attended Cape Cod Community College in 2019, where she left with a Medical Assisting Certificate and an A.A. in English in December 2022. Grosso was highly involved at 4C’s: She became a Peer Tutor, Supplemental Instructor, and Peer Mentor. She also wrote for the college’s student-run newspaper, the MainSheet, partook in Honors research, and briefly served as the Secretary of the Creative Writing Club. Grosso is now pursuing a B.A. in English at UMass Lowell and aims to study law or medicine once she graduates. With her passion for writing at the core of her life, she also hopes to one day publish her creative works. Caitlin is also receiving recognition for earning Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver.
Maggie Brisbois, Greenfield Community College
Maggie Brisbois graduated from Greenfield Community College in January of 2023 with an Associate in Liberal Arts. Maggie started at Greenfield Community College in the fall of 2020 as a dual enrollment student and has enjoyed all of her time spent at the college. She was also very involved in the student government within the college through serving as a student senator and as student trustee. Maggie has also contributed to campus by working in the admissions office giving tours to prospective students and working on the activities council. Maggie is currently continuing her education by pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at Smith College and intends to major in history or environmental science. Outside of school she enjoys spending time outdoors and volunteering with various organizations.
Rathana Thann, Greenfield Community College
Ray Thann is from Amherst and grew up in Shutesbury and the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. He has been a performer since elementary school, staying in during recess to perform lip sync karaoke for other kids as well as putting on skits. Ray performed in such plays as The Tempest and Cabaret, while also choreographing dance pieces in Dance Theater Ensemble and performing in a hip hop dance crew. Along with pursuing his place in the film industry, Ray is a business major and will attend Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst after graduating from Greenfield this spring.
Eva Sweeney, Holyoke Community College
Eva is a chemistry major in their final semester at Holyoke Community College. As a Success Ambassador in the Student Ambassador Mentorship Program, Eva serves as a peer-mentor to 8 of their fellow HCC students. Passionate about LGBTQ+ advocacy, Eva serves as the President of the Rainbow Forward and a member of the LGBTQ Task Force at HCC. Eva has dedicated themselves to making HCC a trans-inclusive campus and has worked closely with faculty, students, staff and the administration at HCC to ensure that everyone on campus feels welcome and respected. Eva has been honored with the Excellence in Leadership Award and Teamwork Award for their involvement on campus.
Eva’s passion for science is evident through their work in the community and on campus. Eva was accepted into the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program and is in the National Science Foundation STEM Seminar. Due to their work in this seminar, Eva will be spending this summer studying green chemistry and science policy in Washington D.C. They hope to graduate from a 4 year college with a major in chemistry and a minor in sustainability. Afterwards they hope to go to grad school where they can become an expert in climate change research and green chemistry.
Eva is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM and working towards sustainability. In their down time they enjoy reading, hanging out with friends, making jewelry and watching Star Trek.
Olivia Delprete, Massasoit Community College
Olivia Delprete is a sophomore from Quincy, currently enrolled at Massasoit in both the Fire Science Degree Program and the Paramedic Certification Program. She will be finishing up with both of these programs at the end of this current semester. Upon graduation she will have an Associates degree in Fire Science and her Paramedic License. She hopes to join a fire department as a paramedic & also become a firefighter. The main reason I chose to follow this career path is because I want to do something with my job that will help others & I enjoy the physical aspect of the job.
Grace Henry, Massasoit Community College
Grace Henry is a student at Massasoit Community College. After graduation, she plans to attend Bridgewater State University where she will study Psychology and Special Education in hopes to work with special populations. She currently works as a Registered Behavior Technician during the weekdays and helps her mother with her donut business on the weekends. She hopes to make a positive change for children with special needs, and enjoys reading, baking, walking, and animals. Grace is thankful for her amazing professors at Massasoit and is excited to continue to pursue her education.
Asif Raza, Massasoit Community College
Asif Raza graduated from high school in Pakistan in 2018 and moved to the United States with his family in 2019, just before the Covid Pandemic. He says that “while moving to the United States and settling down in a new country when there is a Pandemic is quite challenging, as soon as I got stable with my family in the United States, I resumed my education in 2021 at Massasoit Community College.” Asif is about to complete his associate degree in business administration. Business and entrepreneurship are his passion. He is planning to pursue his bachelor’s degree from UMass Boston and then hopes to complete his MBA with his goal to start his own business and create job opportunities for the community. Asif is committed to positively impacting the community and has set an ambitious goal of creating 5000 jobs from his business venture. He adds, “I know that achieving my goals will require hard work, dedication, and a clear vision, but I am confident that with my dedication, and positive attitude, I will succeed and achieve my dream and build better future for myself and the people around me.”
Anthony Jones, Massasoit Community College
Anthony Jones is a technically-minded individual with a passion for design who has always been fascinated by the intricate details of how things work. Starting with an early interest in computer science and operating system architecture, he pursued an Engineering Technology vocational-technical program in high school; it was in this program where he honed his skills in technical design and problem-solving. Through his vocational training, Anthony had the opportunity to try his hand at programming, circuit design, structural analysis, and project scheduling. This vocational training culminated in a Construction Engineering internship, where he discovered his passion for the field. He enjoyed learning about the practical applications of technical design and the challenges that came with working in construction, particularly in process optimization from contract negotiation to project closeouts. He is eager to prepare myself to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management and continue advancing his education with an ultimate goal to acquire his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and move into the critical infrastructure sector where he can apply his technical expertise to make a meaningful impact on society. Anthony is excited to continue learning and growing in his field, and is grateful for the opportunities that have led him to where he is today.
JV Fonseca, Middlesex Community College
João Vitor Fonseca, from Brazil and now living in Winchester, is a Fall 2022 graduate of Middlesex’s Business Administration program. During his time at the college, he worked full-time as a Mortgage Loan Officer Assistant and volunteered at his church. Fonseca was the Secretary for the Student Government Association (SGA) before being elected Vice President of SGA for the Bedford campus. He enjoyed representing his classmates in order to help them have their voices heard. In addition to being a member of PTK and the National Society of Leadership and Success, Fonseca is most proud of raising his GPA from a 3.23 to 3.72 at MCC. He will continue his studies at Northeastern University, studying online from South Africa where his father is posted as Ambassador of Brazil. In the future, his goal is to move back to Brazil and work as the Economy Minister.
Sara Bruce, Middlesex Community College
A wife and mother of three daughters, Middlesex Business Administration and Management student Sara Bruce, of Lowell, is completing an associate degree while working as a Universal Banker at The Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank. As an adult learner, her goal is to advance in her career and grow both personally and professionally. She enjoys immersing herself in the MCC experience, meeting classmates, volunteering, and attending campus events. In her classes, she is learning skills that apply to her current position and to her future goals. After graduating from MCC in Summer 2023, Bruce plans to continue her career path at the company she has worked at for 18 years. During her time at MCC, Bruce has volunteered at a photo art exhibit for The Center for Hope and Healing, collected funds for the Lowell Folk Festival Free, and supported her children’s elementary school and teachers. Sara is the recipient of the Coca-Cola New Century Workforce Scholarship, which recognizes the most outstanding workforce-bound student from each state.
Conner DiPietro, Middlesex Community College
Conner DiPietro, of Tewsbury, is a Business Administration major who came to Middlesex on recommendation from a high school teacher. From the affordable tuition to the ease of applying for the college, he credits MCC for helping him flourish academically, socially and mentally. As school did not always come easily to him growing up, DiPietro considers one of his favorite accomplishments at MCC to have earned a 4.0 GPA in a semester. He is a proud member of PTK, as well as the National Society of Leadership and Success. As he attends school, DiPietro works two jobs, one as a Front-end Supervisor at TJ Maxx, and another for a small insurance company. After graduating from MCC, he plans to transfer to UMass Boston to continue studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. He is looking forward to starting off in the industry and one day working for himself.
Christine Boadu, Mount Wachusett Community College
Christine Boadu is a graduating dual enrollment student at Mount Wachusett Community College. As a first generation immigrant and the oldest of three children, she was inspired by her parents grit and determination in their struggle for obtaining a better life in a country they were unfamiliar with. Christine decided to seek higher and more challenging education to get ahead. Once she graduates, she will have her high school diploma and Associates degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Additionally, Christine has held many leadership roles from being Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa to treasurer of the Asian, Latino(a), African American, and Native American club also known as ALANA. She says, “Not forgetting where I started from, I wanted to help others who had been in a similar situation that I had been and give back to the community. Therefore, I decided to volunteer with the Worcester Partnership program that was hosted at Bancroft school. The program allowed students from underserved, low-income communities in the Worcester area the opportunity for continued and supportive learning to ease the transition from one grade to the next. Thus, fostering lifelong learners and easing parents concerns that their children are receiving the best opportunities possible.” At UMass Lowell, Christine plans to pursue a degree in Biotechnology so that she can help with the curing of diseases and continue to give back to her community. She adds, “I am deeply honored to named one of the nominees for receiving this award. Thank you for your consideration.”
Lily Strzepek, North Shore Community College
Lily Strzepek is a twenty-three-year-old college student attending the North Shore Community College Radiologic Technology Program. Although originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Lily grew up in San Jose, Costa Rica before moving back to Massachusetts at the age of 10. Lily is quiet and shy, a hard worker, very resilient, and full of determination. She excels in her college classes and soaks up as much information as possible during clinical rotations. On weekends, Lily works part time as a Radiology and CT Tech Aide. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting and knitting, cooking, cuddling with her cat, Cassie, and being outdoors. She also loves photography, writing poetry, and reading. One of Lily’s life goals is to graduate from NSCC as an x-ray technologist and go on to work with pediatric patients, their parents, and their care teams to help diagnose and rule out illnesses.
Justin Gaede, North Shore Community College
Justin Gaede was born, and currently lives in, North Andover, Massachusetts. He will be graduating from the Engineering Science Transfer program at North Shore Community College and intends to earn a bachelor’s degree or greater in the field of mechatronics engineering. Due to his passion for country and the people of the United States military, he plans to enlist and serve while finishing his degree. After completing his military career, he hopes to design and improve systems that assist and ensure the safety of future American warfighters.
Marissa Vaillancourt, North Shore Community College
Franziska Hoene, Northern Essex Community College
Franziska Hoene is an early college homeschooled student from Woburn, MA. Franziska started college at age 12 and, despite her age, she was to find her path with help from key individuals at NECC including Stephanie Haskell, Lillian Brand, Habib Maagoul and Suzanne Reyes. Each helped her develop academic and communication skills while fostering leadership skills. Franziska was able to earn numerous academic accolades including Commonwealth Honors, Civic Scholars, National Society of Leadership and Success, and All Massachusetts Academic Team. She became a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Art Club, and Phi Theta Kappa and Student Government. She was elected VP of PTK and President of SGA. Franziska has achieved accomplishments not only academically, but also professionally. She has many passions outside of school. She loves to play, referee, and mentor soccer and futsal, which have led to earning invitations to Regional and National Tournaments to referee including USFF Regionals and Nationals in New Jersey where she earned the whistle for a final match and to a recent invite to President’s Cup, a Regional Soccer Tournament for US Soccer this June in Pennsylvania. Her favorite part of refereeing soccer is mentoring youth officials in the Genesis Program, a place for youth referees to develop the tools and skills that they need to become certified referees. In her off time, she loves to read, snowboard, knit and play futsal with the Men’s Team at NECC. Franziska was struggling with navigating three campuses this semester; she started UMass Lowell in the Biomedical Engineering Department by transferring her Mechanical Engineering Associate’s Degree pathway courses into the Biomedical Program and she enrolled in the honors program based on her high honors success at NECC. She earned the Dean’s Scholarship and if she is able to complete the exact trajectory. She has not quite decided which path she will choose, but she is considering the biomedical engineering, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, PhD or MD. She wants to focus on all the options that UMass Lowell offers and as her concentration becomes narrower, then it will make it easier to decide which way to go in the end. Franziska is grateful to all those who helped her to achieve her current success and for all the tools they gave her to continue her journey in and out of school. She wants to give a special shout-out to Stephanie Haskell for giving her the courage to run for VP and President of SGA as well as always being so supportive and helpful with the entire college experience. She states, “My family also made it possible, if I did not grow up with the parents and siblings I had, I probably wouldn’t be as lucky to be in the situation I am in today. They made me a better person!”
Kendall Tobin, Northern Essex Community College
Kendall Tobin is from Haverhill, Massachusetts, and is currently majoring in Liberal Arts. She plans on transferring this fall to major in English and minor in Education. Her long-term goal is to become a high school English teacher. She’s passionate about helping others and embracing her love of learning. Kendall says, “I would like to thank the professors I’ve had over the years for helping me find myself: Thomas Greene, Elle Yarborough, Ginger Hurajt, Krista Titone, Kristi Arford, Meredith Gunning, the list goes on. I also want to thank another professor I had last semester, Donna Tanner. If I didn’t take her Intro to Teaching course, I wouldn’t have known that I wanted to be an educator. Most of all, I want to thank the PACE Program at NECC, as well as Stephanie Haskell, who used to work in Student Life at the college. Not only has the staff in the PACE Program helped me along my educational journey, Student Life gave me the chance to grow as a student and an individual. And lastly, I would like to thank my friends and family. If it weren’t for their unconditional support, I don’t think I would be where I’m at today.”
Johnson Ebe, Quinsigamond Community College
Johnson Ebe is a Computer Systems Engineering Technology – Cybersecurity Option major at Quinsigamond Community College. Johnson says, “My academic experience in Quinsigamond Community College has been awesome. During my time in QCC, I achieved various skills, certifications, and awards, including Academic Dean’s List for 2021 and 2022. Being a member of Phi Theta Kappa chapter of QCC remains a major highlight of my academic experience. I have participated in various volunteer activities within my community, including serving as assistant coach for the youth soccer team in my community, offering free transport for the elderly to medical appointments, and various church mission events. I plan on transferring to Northeastern University for my bachelor’s degree, with plans to earn a master’s degree afterwards. With the rate of cyber-attacks against our infrastructures and nation, it is my goal to one day work for the United States cybersecurity department to help secure our cyber space.”
Alee Sharma, Roxbury Community College
Alee Sharma was born and raised in a very remote part of India where girls’ education is still scarce. She received a diploma in Electrical Engineering from India, but after moving to the United States, she decided to go back to college again to begin a new career in Biotechnology. This May she is completing her associate degree in biotechnology at Roxbury Community college with a GPA of 3.95) and afterward transferring to Northeastern University to continue her bachelor’s degree in the same discipline. She is currently working as a visiting undergraduate research fellow at Harvard Medical School as well as at Boston Children’s Hospital. She received Merit Scholarships from Roxbury Community College and is stated to be honored with the President list award from RCC during the graduation ceremony. She also received SPARC fellowship from Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center to work on cancer research and cancer disparity, which she will start this month.