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Academic Achievement Celebrated at Convocation Awards

We're so proud of our students!

Myra Saturen,

Northampton Community College (NCC) recognized students for outstanding academic achievement at a Convocations Award Ceremony in Lipkin Theatre on April 23Trustee Leadership Awardee Carla Garis (right) and Dr. Susan Salvador

After some welcoming comments from Dr. Michael McGovern, interim vice president for academic affairs, in which he expressed pride in the honorees and recognized the contributions of their families to their success, Annette Bruno, associate professor of education and last year's recipient of the Christensen Award for Excellence in Teaching, gave a few remarks.  She was happy to honor students who "have done it and done it well" overcoming obstacles and proving outstanding in many ways.  McGovern called the awards recipients "the best and the brightest." 

Dr. Mark Erickson, president of NCC, noted that this academic year has been an outstanding one for leadership: four NCC students won national acclaim.  He introduced Aaron Rosengarten, who is the first NCC student to be named a Coca Cola New Century Scholar based on grades, leadership, activities and application of intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Rosengarten is the only New Century Scholar from Pennsylvania. 

He was also one of only 20 students in the nation chosen for the All-USA Community College Academic Team from more than 1700 nominations in a program sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group and presented by USA TODAY with support from the American Association of Community Colleges and the international honor society for students at 2-year colleges, Phi Theta Kappa.

Additional honorees included:

Trustee Leadership Award: Carla R. Garis

Coca-Cola Community Gold Scholar Award: Steven Davanzo, Carla R. Garis

ACBSP Student Leadership Award: Matthew DeBenedetto

Institute of Management Accounting Award: Patricia A. Taylor

Northampton County Bar Association Award: Jamie L. Reabold

Drs. Edward and Arnold Cook Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene: Patrick A. Rossi

Hites Family Foundation Higher Education Endowment Scholarship: Stephen D. Berry, Rachel A. Cimera, Lisandra Velez

Math Award: April E. Viola

Liberal Arts Award: Christopher V. Erthal, Carla R. Garis

Just Born Business Award: Melinda J. Mack

Marketing Insight Award: Stephen D. Maas

Marconi Award for Audio/TV: Hillary Q. Carrigan

Lehigh and Northampton Association Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education: Christine A. Overholt

Northampton Community College Service Learning Award: Susan G. Balog

Bethlehem Women's Club Nursing Award: Cynthia Evancho

American Advertising Federation/Greater Lehigh Valley Ad Club Creative Achievement Award: Kenneth L. Colodonato

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Chemistry: Catherine L. Reis, April E. Viola

Pearson Education Award: Brandon L. Dimick

Norman R. Roberts Theatre Scholarship Award: Brian P. Meehan, Daniel L. Melo, Torez C. Mosley

Honors Award Program: Carla R. Garis, Gabriel Olah.

As recipient of the Trustee Leadership Award, Garis spoke, encapsulating the three outstanding qualities she has experienced at NCC: community, unity, and empowerment.  As a non-traditional age student, a mother and a wife, she said she felt scared returning to school.  But the warmth of community at NCC embraced her. She felt accepted and found other nontraditional students who befriended her.  She quickly became a leader at the College. 

A common purpose, the bonds among students, faculty and staff all striving for academic and personal growth inspired her with a sense of unity.  As a member of the Student Leadership Class, she discovered self-knowledge and a focus on her assets. 

She said that she never felt so empowered as she has at NCC.  "I was pushed and challenged to be the best woman and person I can be," she said. 

The Student Leadership Class had a great impact on her, as did the documentary Misrepresentation, which explores women's depiction in the media, and reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women.  All of these influences determined her to empower all people, a goal she eventually hopes to achieve through founding a center for holistic healing and empowerment. 

The event began and ended with music.  The vocalists The Green Pond Ramblers, Taylor Natiello and Morgan Natiello, sang America the Beautiful, accompanied by Carlo Acerra, Kory Burell and Professor of Radio/TV Mario Acerra.  To conclude the program, the audience sang NCC's Alma Mater song, Oh Northampton, music and lyrics by Mario Acerra. 

Awards received at previous ceremonies include:

2014 LPN Clinical Achievement Award, Main Campus: Gwynedd Gabrielli.  Monroe Campus: April Smith

RN Leadership Award: Christopher Hummel, Lorrie Day

Clinical Achievement Award - RN:  Chayla Brown, Jayne Styczynski

All Pennsylvania Academic Team:  Rachel A. Cimera, Steven Davanzo, Carla R. Garis, Aaron Rosengarten

Who's Who Among American Students: Yahya Adejoh, Devin Allen, Michael Blount, Lindsey Bogert, Kimberly Burke, Steven Buskaritz, Breanna Connell, Matthew DeBenedetto, Tori Geiger, Amber Nelson, Aaron Rosengarten, Justin Skrzypek, Wesley Smith, Kiriki Valcin, Cheyanne Wood.

Outstanding Funeral Service Education Student of the Year: Jessica O'Neil

Pennsylvania Funeral Director's Association Award: Taylor Fluharty

View more photos from this event in this photo gallery.