Cerritos honors students’ academic excellence

Cerritos+College+Academic+Excellence+Awards+are+given+to+students+on+April+5+and+April+7%2C+2021.+%0ARecipients+picked+up+their+awards+during+a+drive-thru+ceremony+in+the+college+parking+lot.+

Vincent Medina

Cerritos College Academic Excellence Awards are given to students on April 5 and April 7, 2021. Recipients picked up their awards during a drive-thru ceremony in the college parking lot.

Jacqueline Cochran, News Editor

Cerritos College honored some of its students for their academic accomplishments with the Academic Excellence Awards. The awardees had an opportunity to receive their award in person at a drive thru event on campus on April 5 and April 7.

“The pandemic has caused the awardees to not be formally recognized in a formal elaborate ceremony as previous years,” said Christine Gregory, Cerritos College Academic awards committee and co-chair and instructor & Repertory Director, Dance Department and Kinesiology Division.

Besides the contactless drive thru event, a virtual ceremonial video was created to also honor the students’ special achievement. Dr. Jose Fierro delivered an address to the awardees, at the opening of the virtual video.

“I want to encourage you to continue to practice acceptance, to embrace change, to have hope and to be lenient and treat yourself well,” said Dr. Fierro.

“I would like to congratulate you for being selected as one of the recipients of the 2021 Academic Excellence Awards. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to tell you how proud we are,” Fierro said.

There was also a dance film presentation created and performed by two of the awardees, Samuel Macias and Fabian Zuninga. The keynote speaker was Gerardo Franco, an engineer and former Cerritos College student.

The awards honor students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Student recipients are also required to complete a minimum of 30 units at Cerritos College, as well as complete nine units in the area which they are being recognized, also with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Other requirements include enrollment in two units in the fall prior and recommendation from a faculty member in the award area.

2020 awardees did not have an opportunity to be honored because of the pandemic last year. The committee decided to include them along with the 2021 recipients.

 

Glennton Jones, whose major is automotive technology, said, “Winning is great! I worked hard to come back from a hard year from falling off in fall semester.”

With a 3.7 GPA, Glennton, plans to continue working towards a Bachelor’s degree.

Jones’ ultimate goal will be to open his own automotive shop in the Cerritos area. “Social distance learning has pushed me harder to get more in and more done during social distancing,” said Jones.

Talon Marks’ very own Community Editor, Vincent Medina, received an excellence award in Journalism. One of the reasons Vincent received this honor is because he had a 4.0 GPA.

“Receiving this award feels awesome and my parents were very proud,” Medina said. “Social distance learning works well for me. I was able to focus on reporting,” Medina said.

Cemelia Clay, who graduated in December of 2020, transferred to California State University, Fullerton, received her award for the major Mental Health Worker.

Clay said, “Receiving this award means so much. I don’t know who nominated me but I am so grateful.

“My time at Cerritos really prepared me to transfer and I think I have a solid foundation to continue my education. It means the world to me,” she said.

In the future, Clay hopes to become a Psychology professor, perhaps at a community college, but she would also love to teach special education students.

Another awardee, Hanna Choy, received her award in pre-dental. “I just transferred to UCLA and I’m majoring in environmental science and conservation biology. I have spent a lot of time here at Cerritos College, gotten to know a lot of great people and great professors.

“And it’s been an amazing experience and to have this award just as a bonus at the end is great,” Choy said

For the full list of awardees and their award category, watch the virtual video on Youtube.