By CCWeek Staff  /  
2017 July 21 - 08:18 am

Honors & Awards

A Summary Listing of Honors and Awards at Colleges Around the Nation

After completing her Mathematical Reasoning test, the final step in a long journey toward her GED, Melissa Nieto took one last look at the computer screen. She hit the submit button. And waited. She thought about having to leave high school in the 10th grade and the four children who inspired her to finish the education two decades earlier. As she recalls that time in her life, she describes dropping out of school to have her first child, a son who is now a 21-year-old adult. She talks lovingly about her supportive husband, 15-year-old daughter and two younger sons — one 13, the other 5. In fact, it was the youngest heading off to pre-K that gave her space to pursue the high school equivalency she always wanted to achieve. “I decided to do this while my last one was in pre-K and nothing was holding me back from doing it,” she says, recounting the decision that led her to this moment.

“My kids always came first, so now that he was in pre-K, nothing was holding me back.” Except, perhaps, for the results of that final test. It seemed like forever until the computer screen blinked and rendered the verdict: She passed. After seven months of classes, four GED subject tests and plenty of help from a partnership between The Salvation Army and Central Carolina Community College, she had her high school equivalency credential and all sorts of new options in life. “I knew after about 10 minutes and I started crying,” she says. “I was relieved and very happy. It was a big accomplishment for me to show my kids that it can be done.”

Former Raritan Valley Community College Board of Trustees member Catherine Hebson McVicker, second from left, accepts the Ronald D. Winthers Community College Trustee Leadership Award. Pictured, from left: Winthers, McVicker, NJCCC Chair Helen Albright and RVCC President Michael McDonough.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges presented the Ronald D. Winthers Community College Trustee Leadership Award to Catherine Hebson McVicker, a former member of the Board of Trustees at Raritan Valley Community College, for her dedicated service to New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. McVicker joined the RVCC board in 1986. She then chaired the board from November 2011 to November 2013. In her three decades of service to the board, McVicker helped expand and improve the educational services offered at the college. Advancements made under her leadership include developing a new strategic plan, constructing the Ray Bateman Center for Student Life and Leadership and graduating the first class of the RVCC Honors College. McVicker has also served on the RVCC Foundation board and on the executive committee of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges. She earned a Ph.D. in regional economics from Rutgers University, an M.A. in economics from the University of Wyoming and a B.S. in chemistry from Chestnut Hill College.

Mott Community College Athletic Director Al Perry has been named the 2017 Michigan Community College Athletic Association Athletic Director of the Year. The award is presented yearly to an athletic director who has distinguished themselves among their peers. Perry was recognized for not just his contributions at the college, but for his contributions at the MCCAA level as well. He is the vice president of the organization and the chair for both volleyball and baseball. He is also the Region XII volleyball chairperson. Perry oversees an eight-sport program at Mott Community College in addition to Student Life operations. He is the second Mott Athletic Director to win the award. Tom Healey won the award in 2001.

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