By CCWeek Staff  /  
2016 February 5 - 01:34 pm

Honors & Awards

A summary Listing of Colleges Receiving Institution and Individual Honors and Awards


Middlesex Community College, with campuses in Bedford and Lowell, Mass., has been recognized as an exemplary college committed to diversity by Minority Access Inc. College President James C. Mabry accepted the award, along with Darcy Orellana, assistant director of human resources/affirmative action officer, at MAI’s 16th annual National Role Models Conference, in Baltimore. Mabry addressed the conference on behalf of the colleges and universities honored. U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also spoke as part of the program. Middlesex Community College was credited for meeting the evolving educational, civic and workforce needs of our local and global communities. MCC offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs, plus hundreds of noncredit courses.

Spokane Falls Community College student Armando Garcia will be honored with a Transforming Lives Award from the Washington State Association of College Trustees in Olympia. Only five students, out of 388,000 students across 34 colleges, are awarded each year. Coordinated through ACT, the fifth annual Transforming Lives Awards recognize current or former students who have had their lives transformed by attending a community or technical college. The honor also comes with a $500 award. Garcia is in his second year at SFCC. The son of migrant farmworkers, he came to this country at the age of five. Due to an infection during infancy, his right leg was not fully developed. His parents came to the United States from Mexico in search of better medical care for their son. He began receiving care from Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Spokane, though the orthopedic shoe he wore opened him up to bullying in school. He also had a new language to learn. Garcia is pursuing an associate degree at SFCC with a plan to transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science. He spent last summer in Washington, D.C. as part of the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start’s internship program where he worked for Farmworker Justice.

Former San Jacinto College (Texas) student Robert Tijerina, founder and owner of two successful companies, was recently named the 2015 Male Entrepreneur of the Year by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Tijerina seemed destined to be an entrepreneur. As a child, he would collect cans for ready cash. As he got older, he began to realize it takes more than a natural entrepreneurial spirit to succeed in the business world. So, after graduating from South Houston High School, he enrolled at San Jacinto College. Because his father Raul Tijerina worked at NASA, Robert was interested in aviation, and he consequently chose aviation technology as his field of study at the college. During his final year at San Jacinto College in 1989, he began working as a flight planner for Universal Weather & Aviation. That experience led Tijerina to launch his own aircraft brokerage, Priority 1 Aviation, which is a corporate jet aircraft sales and brokerage company located near Houston Hobby Airport. Priority 1 represents numerous Fortune 500 companies, as well as private clientele, in the buying and selling of business aircraft. Tijerina’s company ranks as a leader in business jet aircraft sales, and he credits his experience at San Jacinto College as providing a solid foundation for its success.

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