Student Excellence Celebrated Virtually During Phi Theta Kappa Recognition Week 

April 27, 2020

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC) will honor community college scholars for their induction to the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-Massachusetts Academic Team through a virtual “PTK Community College Excellence Week.” From Monday, April 27 through Friday, May 1, MACC will highlight the student members of the All-Massachusetts Academic Team for their outstanding academic achievement and exemplary student service on its social media pages.

Traditionally, a celebratory ceremony is held at the Massachusetts State House to honor the highest academic achievers in the state’s 15-member community college system. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team ceremony originally scheduled for April 8, 2020 at the State House was cancelled.

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges, and has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students for more than 100 years while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa.

“All of us in the Massachusetts community college system are incredibly proud of the PTK All MA students. Not only do they excel academically, but are involved student leaders on campus, doing great things for themselves and their peers. We are so happy to see them awarded with this prestigious designation in celebration of all that they have accomplished through their own determination, motivation and grit. While this year we must celebrate them virtually, we are proud to showcase our nationally-recognized students of the 15-college system,” said Dr. Patricia A. Gentile, president of North Shore Community College and current chair of the MA Council of Community College Presidents.

“Every year, we look forward to this opportunity to highlight the community colleges’ commitment to access, opportunity, and excellence. Despite the virtual nature of this year’s recognition, the outstanding achievements of our students cannot be understated. We are proud of all they have accomplished, and celebrate the continued pursuit of their academic and career aspirations,” said Tom Sannicandro, Director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC).

The 2020 Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team members are:
•       Berkshire Community College students Travis Costello and Jimmy Phan;
•       Bristol Community College students Hannah Davignon, Lindsay Dias, and Paul Rhuda;
•       Bunker Hill Community College students Oumaima Erragragui, Prepsa Ghimire, and Elidijon Tafa;
•       Cape Cod Community College students Lexis Grandel, Noah Lamperti, and Cassandra Robin;
•       Greenfield Community College students Hailee Galandak-Cochran and Clairise Netto;
•       Holyoke Community College students Maxwell Faytell, Esfier Okhrimenko, Synell Rodriguez, and Jordan Wyman;
•       MassBay Community College students Nathalia Goettert, Sungmin Kim, and Ashley Robinson;
•       Massasoit Community College students Kevin Denicola and Jasmine Jaynes;
•       Middlesex Community College students Cara Hartsgrove, Sokharath Koy, and Andrea Wallis;
•       Mt. Wachusett Community College students Ammar Alkayal and Sidney Myers;
•       North Shore Community College students Laela Bisgrove, Larissa Louissaint, and Vanessa Molina;
•       Northern Essex Community College students Zaida Melina Pimentel Gamboa and Jonas Ruzek;
•       Quinsigamond Community College students Krystle Bedrick and Temsalet Molla;
•       Roxbury Community College students Michael Gregorka and Kimberly Headley-Jeffrey; and
•       Springfield Technical Community College students Gary Hutchins and Helder Serrazina.

In addition to membership on the All-Massachusetts Academic Team, three students earned additional recognition through scholarships from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the All-USA Academic Team. Elidijon Tafa from Bunker Hill Community College was this year’s New Century Workforce Scholar, and was awarded a $1,250 scholarship for this honor. From Northern Essex Community College, student Zaida Melina Pimentel Gamboa was this year’s New Century Transfer Scholar. As the top-scoring community college student in the Commonwealth, she was awarded a $2,250 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Foundation. Finally, Kevin Denicola from Massasoit Community College was this year’s Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar, receiving a $1,000 scholarship for this honor.

The Massachusetts Association Community Colleges (MACC) works on behalf of presidents and trustees of the fifteen community colleges in Massachusetts, currently representing more than 150,000 students in every region of the Commonwealth. To follow the virtual “PTK Community College Excellence Week,” highlights about the students will be posted to MACC’s social media at the below accounts:

Facebook: Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (@macommunitycolleges)
Twitter: @MassCCs
Instagram: @macommunitycolleges