Honors Students Recognized at MCC Venice

(Venice, Fla., April 27, 2007) - Members of the Manatee Community College (MCC) Spring 2007 graduating class and other students who excelled scholastically or through service to their college and community were recognized in Honors Convocation ceremonies that began at 12:30 p.m., Friday, April 27, at MCC Venice and are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at MCC Bradenton. Collegewide, award-winners received $20,857 in scholarships or cash awards. Highlights of the awards ceremonies included readings of essays by MCC students who won honorable mentions in the college's 50th Anniversary Essay Contest.

At MCC Venice, award-winner Carmen Miranda credited MCC with helping her put her life back together with convenient, affordable classes that made education obtainable for the mother of one. She is vice president of the MCC Venice Swamp Scribes, a creative writing club, and competed in the MCC Idol talent contest held as part of the anniversary community celebrations.

Grensy Quintero received a $3,000 Beverly Beall and R. Kemp Riechmann Foundation scholarship that is renewable for a second year. She is a member of an MCC Venice Math Olympics team that won first place in the college division in statewide competition. Other team members recognized at the awards ceremony included Giovanni Alemanno, Andrew Conn, Joy D'Andrea and Veronica Deza. It was the fourth year in a row that an MCC Venice team won that division award.  

MCC Venice students who won MCC Image awards in recognition of their ability to overcome barriers to their success in college are Ashley Ewing, Rory Hartos and Jeffry Schuler. Ewing works and cares for two younger brothers while taking classes. She hopes to eventually work in sports medicine as a physical therapist. Hartos is a single mother who also cares for her father. She is an active member of the Psi Beta Psychology Honors Society and is studying to be a nurse. Schuler was a football player with a bright future when he was paralyzed after being stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome at age 23 and given last rites on two occasions. He is a determined student who is troubled only by residual ankle weakness today.

Dr. Louis Okonkwo, an MCC business professor and the president of the Rotary Club of North Port, presented the club's $500 Ed Kalb Memorial Scholarship to Aracely Gonzalez. Darlene Kelly won a $400 Wayne Gulbrandsen Academic Scholarship for Single Parents award.  

Charlene Monagas won a $300 Peter and Mary Lou Vogt award for excellence in studio art that also entitles her to exhibit her work in the MCC Venice Fine Art Gallery. She also won a $100 first-place Outstanding Student in Art award for painting and an honorable mention for sculpture. Other winners of outstanding awards in art were Cynthia Peterson ($150 and a certificate for Best in Show) and Amber Pry, Kathleen Hooker, Ramona Mayer and Patricia Volz ($100 each plus certificates).

Penny Bryan was named to Phi Theta Kappa's All-USA/All-Florida Academic team. Faye Sundin was named the Outstanding Future Educator and won a $200 cash award, plaque and certificate.            

Information about the evening MCC Bradenton Honors Convocation will be published on this Web site on Saturday, April 28. 


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