2018 March 14 - 04:36 pm

Honors & Awards

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


Serra Martin, a Gadsden State student studying aquaculture, has landed a fellowship at Auburn University through the National Science Foundation.

Gadsden State Community College student Serra Martin has earned a prestigious fellowship at Auburn University. She is one of 10 fellows receiving the honor through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. “There were 99 applicants, and I am humbled and grateful to have been chosen,” she said. “This is a wonderful experience for me as I explore aquaculture and all of the careers and opportunities available.” All REU fellows are fully supported during the experience, including a $5,500 stipend, travel support to and from Auburn, $500 in research funds and food and lodging in Auburn University dormitories for the entirety of the 10-week program. Martin, 28, will be working on a research project focused on warm water aquatic ecology, such as reservoirs, farm ponds, streams and brackish estuaries. She will be guided by Alan Wilson, an associate professor at Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences. “For the fellows, the primary objectives of the project are to be exposed to different scientific hypotheses and research techniques while learning about ecological habitats and conditions,” Martin said. “It is a great honor for me to be studying with some of the best aquatic scholars in our region.” The Talladega County native wasn’t always interested in aquaculture. In fact, after graduating from Winterboro High School, she did not have career plans for the future. “I had no idea what to do,” she said. “I just kept flipping through Gadsden State’s catalog reviewing all of the different programs. I was just trying to figure out what I wanted to do.” After a brief stint doing college coursework, Martin got a full-time job. Again, Martin picked up the Gadsden State catalog. She kept coming back to aquaculture and researched it online. A YouTube video about the program peaked her interest even further. She proved herself wrong by maintaining an A- average in her core classes. She will receive an associate in science from Gadsden State this summer. She is considering continuing her education at Auburn University in the fall.

Hudson County Community College (New Jersey) President Glen Gabert announced that the college’s Board of Trustees will formally dedicate the banquet room in the HCCC Culinary Conference Center in honor of Joseph D. Sansone. Sansone, the college’s former vice president for planning and development and assistant to the president, retired in February. A lifelong resident of Hudson County, he attended Rutgers College and graduated from The American Institute of Banking. Sansone’s career, which spans more than 50 years, began at First Jersey National Bank in Jersey City (which was later acquired by Natwest Bank), where he held senior positions in retail banking. In addition, he spent several years at ChaseMellon Shareholder Services as a vice president of correspondence and lost securities. In 2001, he joined Hudson County Community College as executive director of the college foundation and as vice president for development and assistant to the president. Under his leadership, the HCCC Foundation has raised more than $6 million, and awarded more than 1,625 scholarships totaling more than $2.65 million to deserving students. The foundation funds programs that help incoming students prepare to succeed in their college work as well as cultural enrichment events for the entire community. The Foundation Art Collection, which was established in 2006, now includes over 1,000 works of art, most by nationally and internationally renowned artists.

David L. Levinson, president of Norwalk Community College and vice president for the community colleges, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, will be awarded the 2018 Connecticut Higher Education Excellence Award from the New England Board of Higher. Since 2003, NEBHE has presented Excellence Awards to individuals and organizations for exemplifying, through their work, excellence in promoting sound education practices and policies, efficient sharing of education resources, and leadership to strengthen the relationship between higher education and the economic well-being of New England. Levinson is a visionary educator, author and scholar. Under his leadership, Norwalk Community College has made national headlines for spearheading initiatives to boost student success, align curricula with workforce needs, and revitalize Connecticut’s economy. In 2014, Levinson was instrumental in launching the Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA) in partnership with IBM and the Norwalk Public Schools. The state’s first Pathways to Technology High School, NECA enables students to graduate with both a high school diploma and tuition-free associate degree within six years. Levinson has helped create seamless pathways from high school to college to career, and has led more than 100 educational partnerships that position students for success and enrich the community. Last year, he was invited to The White House in Washington, D.C. to accept an award honoring NCC as a winner of the White House Healthy Campus Challenge.

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