Gateway Community College President Dorsey Kendrick will be on hand in Washington D.C. this weekend (April 5, 6) to present GCC student Serena Giacomin with the 2014 New Century Scholar Prize at the American Association of Community Colleges Annual Convention.
“I am very proud to present Serena with this award,” said Dr. Kendrick. “This is not only an honor and a big deal for her, but for all Gateway students who see this distinction as something they can also reach for.”
Giocomin will receive a $2,000 scholarship and national recognition as just one of 51 community college students from the United States, Canada, and American Samoa to be named a 2014 New Century Scholar. A native of Italy, Giacomin studies Hospitality Management at Gateway and serves as Executive Vice-President of Gateway’s Alpha Xi Theta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She was among over 1,700 students nominated from more than 900 community colleges for recognition by The New Century Scholars Program.
The New Century Scholars program recognizes the outstanding academic achievements and leadership accomplishments of outstanding community college students. The program is sponsored by The Coca Cola Scholars Foundation in cooperation with the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Students are selected not only for the highest scores in each state, but also for grades, leadership, activities and how students extend their intellectual talents that are demonstrated beyond the classroom.
According to Giacomin, the distinction added greatly to her sense of accomplishment. “I am more satisfied because this scholarship is not, for once, just about academic achievement.” she said. “Anyone can enjoy the college experience and excel in class. But college is not just classes. College is fellowship, is involvement...[in the United State], college is personal growth, skills development, leadership learning. It is one’s choice to make the best out of the college experience.” She continued, “But having a place like Gateway where instructors, advisors, and staff members are willing to help anyone alongside their academic adventure, everything becomes an opportunity. I did try to grab as many as I could. And...looking at this scholarship not as an ‘award’ but as a ‘thank you’ for trying to be a better student and person for myself and for my school.”
“We appreciate the support of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation to recognize the outstanding academic achievement and leadership accomplishments of these outstanding community college students,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director, Dr. Rod Risley. “These scholarships provided by organizations like Coca-Cola make the goal of college completion possible – especially during these challenging economic times.”