Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Cerritos College Students Named to All-USA and All-California Academic Teams

Monirath Siv and Sonia Gutierrez, students at Cerritos College, have each been named to the 2009 All-USA First Team and All-California Team.

Siv has also been chosen as California’s 2009 New Century Scholar, namely the top scorer of the state, and Gutierrez has also been selected as a 2009 Coca-Cola Silver Scholar.

Siv received a $4,500 scholarship ($2,500 from USA Today and $2,000 from the Coca Cola Foundation) and represented the state of California at the 2009 American Association of Community Colleges Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 4.

Gutierrez received a $1,250 scholarship from the Coca Cola Foundation. Both Siv and Gutierrez were featured in USA Today on April 6.

Siv, of Long Beach, is a straight-A sophomore studying engineering.

Originally from Cambodia, Siv plans to expand his education by majoring in biomedical engineering at a private four-year university.

This year he applied to schools such as Duke, John Hopkins and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and is waiting for the admission letters.

Siv spends time volunteering on campus and at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. He also volunteers as a tutor for the AmeriCorps After-School Program “Project APPLE” at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

He plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in science and hopes to become a biomedical engineer.

“Applying for this award was a team effort,” said Siv. “We have the most outstanding team members here at Cerritos. That’s the reason I have won this prestigious award.

“I want to thank Professor Timothy Juntilla, director of the Scholars’ Honors Program, for his exceptional effort towards having me selected to the All-USA First Academic Team. Special thanks go to my biology professor Smita Alves. The research I’ve completed with her was what made my application so strong.”

Gutierrez, of Norwalk, is an anthropology student who maintains a GPA of 3.95.
Gutierrez will be transferring to the University of California, Berkeley in fall. She will major in anthropology and plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in forensic anthropology. She hopes to become a university professor and medicolegal consultant.

Gutierrez, who spent two years on the Cerritos College women’s tennis team was also recently named as the 2008 Pepsi Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

“The good news came one after the other,” said Gutierrez. “First, I found out that I had been selected for the 2009 All-California Academic Team. About two weeks later, I found out that I had been named the 2008 Female Pepsi Scholar Athlete by the California Community College Athletic Association.

To top it off, about a week later, I found out that I was also named a 2009 Coca-Cola Silver Scholar.”

“I feel extremely proud of my accomplishments. It’s an honor to be recognized for my academic excellence as well as my involvement in sports. It feels great.”

The Coca Cola All-State Community College Academic Team program provides up to $450,000 in stipends. The top scoring student from each of the fifty states in the All-USA Academic Team competition is named a New Century Scholar and receives a $2,000 stipend from Coca Cola.

Fifty students are named Gold Scholars, receiving $1,500, 50 students are named Silver Scholars, receiving $1,250, and 50 students are named Bronze Scholars, receiving $1,000.

All scholars also receive special medallions. Finally, an additional 150 national finalists are selected from multiple states, each receiving a $1,000 stipend.

The Coca-Cola Scholar program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

The All-USA Academic Team is co-sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society, the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation and USA Today.

“We are very proud of Monirath and Sonia, who are committed to their academic and athletic excellence and to making a difference in the community,” said Bill Farmer, acting president/superintendent. “They are great examples of the standard of excellence we achieve at Cerritos College.”

Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate.

Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 200 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently surpasses 24,000 students.

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Cerritos College Students Named to All-USA and All-California Academic Teams