Students Recognition at the Academic Excellence Awards

Aldemar Sanchez

Cerritos College awarded 13 scholarships and recognized 65 students for their achievements in their academic excellence at the Academic Excellence Awards.

The awards were on Thursday, April 2 in the Burnight Theatre.

The Academic Excellence Awards started in 1981 to recognize student’s academic achievements.

Dr. David Betancourt, chairperson for the academic excellence committee said the student recipients were chosen by each department based on academic achievement.

The ceremony began with Dr. Joanna Schilling acknowledging the special guests that were in attendance that evening with Trustee Bob Arthur, Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Stephen Johnson and the faculty escorts.

Faculty Senate President Michelle Lewellen introduced the keynote speaker of the night, Dr. Frank Mixson, who was also awarded the 2014-2015 Most Outstanding Faculty Winner.

Mixson said in his speech, “Remember where you began your journey, at a community college. A college whose sole purpose is to serve its community. In such, you (the students) should consider choosing a life of purpose yourself, one that would undoubtedly benefit others.”

Robin Gaitan was awarded the English Department Scholarship, Raymond Van Ness awarded the Jules Crane Scholarship, Wei He awarded the Glorya Welch Scholarship and Dalia Jimenez and Eric Campos awarded the Dr. Keith Allen Hinrichsen Scholarship.

Nathanael Marquez was awarded the Academic Excellence Award in Economics.

Marquez said, “It is a great honor to receive these awards. My siblings are here tonight and I’m proud to be able to encourage them to be successful.”

Each of the recipients was allowed to have a faculty escort accompany them while receiving their award.

Darryl Valdez, recipient of the Academics Excellence Award in Music, said he is grateful for Dr. Betancourt, who has helped him through his years at Cerritos College and who was his faculty escort for the ceremony.