Outstanding Scholars Both Inside and Outside of the Classroom Honored by NJ Council of County Colleges

photo is courtesy of CCM

By: Kimberly Redmond


Two students from the County College of Morris were recently honored for their successes inside of the classroom, as well as their contributions outside of it.


Alejandra Linares Martinez, of Livingston, and Joaquin Mould Parga, of Randolph, were among the 38 students recognized by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCC) on May 8 at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.


For the last 25 years, the New Jersey Community College Scholars Celebration has honored New Jersey’s best and brightest community college students and their families.


New Jersey Council of Community Colleges chairman Phil Linfante said, “Each year, we invite New Jersey’s top community college students to celebrate their outstanding academic achievements and exceptional service to their communities as members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at their local community colleges.”


For more than a century, Phi Theta Kappa has recognized and encouraged community outreach and academic excellence among students pursuing a community college associate degree. To be invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, students must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.


Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, president of the County College of Morris, said, “We are so proud of Alejandra and Joaquin and their academic success and contributions to the college and the larger community. They are an inspiration and a testament to the value of working hard and giving back to others.”


Martinez, a design major, has served as vice president of fellowship for the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter at the school, as a member of the design club and was a semifinalist for the prestigious nationally awarded Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.


A business administration major, Parga has served as president of the school’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter and is a member of the Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Society. He is also the recipient of the college’s Douglas A. Patton Campus Life Award in recognition of his contributions to the school.


New Jersey Council of Community Colleges President Aaron Fichtner said, “Our 19 community colleges provide life changing opportunities to over 325,000 students each year, and these 38 students are accomplished academic scholars and community leaders on our campuses.”

Other Northern New Jersey students recognized this year are: Essex County College students Massaer Mar of Hillside and Johanna Navas of Newark; Passaic County Community College students Valeri Al-Touma of Clifton and Andy Perales of Paterson; Raritan Valley Community College students Michael Allers of Frenchtown and Alec Wrana of Bernardsville; Sussex County Community College students Adam Cueman of Highland Lakes and Patrick Hild of Newton; and Warren County Community College students Brenda Haycock of Columbia and Arleen Molina of Hackettstown.


The New Jersey Council of Community Colleges is a state association that represents the 19 community colleges across New Jersey and serves as the voice of the community college sector in Trenton. 


In addition to honoring statewide student achievement during last month’s celebration in Trenton, Phi Theta Kappa and the Coca-Cola Foundation have awarded five scholarships this year to Phi Theta Kappa students. 


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