CCAC scholars recognized for achievements, represent college at Lobby Day in Harrisburg

CCAC Lobby Day 2019 at State Capitol
 
Article by: CCAC Public Relations

Exceptional Community College of Allegheny County students were honored as members of the 25th Annual All-Pennsylvania Academic Team at an awards banquet on Monday, April 8, in Harrisburg. The awards, presented by the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, recognize community college students who have achieved excellence and demonstrated a commitment to their colleges and communities. Among the outstanding community college scholars from across the Commonwealth are CCAC students Georgios Sotiriou and Nicole Russell of Allegheny Campus; Douglas Cole and Ronald Joseph of Boyce Campus; Deawna Alfonsi, Matthew Konvalin and Abigail Manges of North Campus; and Brooke Allen and Tyler Omune of South Campus.

The 2019 awardees include 47 outstanding community college transfer scholars and eight exceptional workforce scholars. Transfer students must have completed at least 36 credits at a community college and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Workforce students must have a minimum of 12 college-level credit hours at a community college and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

“We applaud these outstanding student scholars on their terrific academic achievements,” said Elizabeth Bolden, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. “By enrolling in high-quality educational or workforce programs at a community college, these students are building a foundation for a successful career while furthering their postsecondary study.”

Pennsylvania’s community colleges partner with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities to provide scholarships to All-PA Transfer Team members at PASSHE institutions, providing two years of tuition at any PASSHE school.

The students receiving the highest All-USA Community College Team application scores in each state are named the Coca-Cola New Century Transfer Scholar and the Coca-Cola New Century Workforce Pathways Scholar. CCAC student Deawna Alfonsi is the recipient of this year’s workforce honor, which comes with a $1,250 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Educational Foundation. Alfonsi is also invited to be recognized at the Association of Community College Trustees Leadership Congress in San Francisco in October. She will graduate in May with an Associate in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a concentration in computer information sciences and support services.

Members of the All-PA Team, CCAC President Dr. Quintin Bullock and college staff also joined forces with members of the state’s other 13 community colleges at the State Capitol in Harrisburg on Tuesday, April 9, to rally support for funding of the state’s community college budget. “Lobby Day” leverages the collective strength of the state’s 14 community colleges. CCAC student Nicole Russell spoke on behalf of all Pennsylvania community college students at the Lobby Day press conference that took place in the Rotunda.

“When I graduated from high school in 2013, I was in the top 15 in my class. I wouldn’t be able to continue my own education if it wasn’t for academic scholarships,” said Russell. “If we want Pennsylvania to be a great state, we must invest in young Pennsylvanians—we are the future of this state and country. An investment in our youth starts with an investment in community colleges.”

This year, the CCAC All-PA Team met with Senators Jay Costa Jr., JD (CCAC Class of 1977), Jim Brewster (CCAC Class of 1969), Wayne Fontana (CCAC Class of 1971), Elder Vogel, and Legislative Director for Senator Camera Bartolotta, Colleen Greer. The team also met with Speaker of the House Mike Turzai and Representatives Parke Wentling, Mike Puskaric, Jason Ortitay, Bud Cook, Bill Kortz, and Chief of Staff for Representative Bill Kortz, Jennifer Halaszynski. 

Photo: Gathered in the senate chamber at the State Capitol on Lobby Day are, from the left: Sen. Jay Costa, and CCAC students Brooke Allen, Matthew Konvalin, Tyler Omune, Nicole Russell and Georgios Sotiriou, and CCAC President Quintin Bullock.

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