New Haven Resident Named GCC’s 2014 Best All-Around Student

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gateway Community College (GCC) President Dr. Dorsey L. Kendrick surprised New Haven resident Joseph Libretti at the college’s May 22 commencement in Yale’s Woolsey Hall when she announced that he was the college’s Best All-Around Student for 2014.

Libretti, 25, received an Associate Degree in business administration and marketing during the college’s 22nd commencement ceremony, and will pursue a bachelor in science degree in business marketing at Quinnipiac University, Albertus Magnus College or the University of New Haven in the fall.

The Best All-Around Student Award recognizes students who may not quite achieve the college’s criteria for outstanding academic achievement, but who still make major contributions to the college community and to society. Qualifications for the award include demonstrated leadership and mentoring, personal achievements, career goals, a commitment to service, participation in community and student activities, employment accomplishments and a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.

Libretti exceeded the qualifications for Best All-Around Student with a 3.71 GPA and service outside the classroom through a variety of activities including the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, New Student Advising and Registration, and mentoring new students through his work in the counseling and student success center, where he was lauded for his ”patience, encouragement and calm support.”

Libretti came to Gateway in 2011 after suffering injuries in an accident that threatened his ability to walk. “I realized, from the start, that Joe had so much potential," said Catherine Surface, director of College Transition. "He showed me that he had perseverance, determination and motivation, yet he knew he had many challenges to overcome.”

Assistant Professor of English Enrico Mastronardi calls Libretti “a student on a mission,” citing that “he is proactive in and out of the classroom, eager to interact with other students in pursuit of common goals..with a big heart and a strong sense of responsibility.”

Libretti’s leadership ability became most evident in his work as a student employee where, according to Mastronardi, he “set a positive example for his peers by consistently demonstrated a high level of service, working to ensure a positive experience for other students.”

Libretti received a record number of nominations for the distinction of Best All-Around Student, all of which touted him as a “role-model and inspiration to others.” Congratulations, Joe!