2009 Academic Excellence Awards

Spring 2009 Academic Excellence Award Recipients

Letitia Anderson

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Letitia Anderson demonstrates effective technical and written skills in all areas of cosmetology.  She communicates effectively and harmoniously with staff, students and the general public.  She manages time effectively and has set as a priority to complete this 1600-hour course and achieve her goal.  Recently she passed her board exam and received her cosmetology license.  While in this course, she understood the feelings of others and worked well under pressure.  Letitia pays attention to detail, is always positive in her attitude, and compliant with department rules.  Her GPA is 3.98.

Nelson Atangan
Automotive Mechanical Repair Technology – Manufacturer Specialty

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Mr. Nelson Atangan came to Cerritos College from industry to make a career change.  Encouraged by his instructor, Mr. Frank Vega, he enrolled in the Chrysler College Automotive Program (CAP).  Nelson has performed with distinction maintaining a 4.0 GPA in his academic as well as automotive courses.  His quiet yet competent bearing has won him the respect of his fellow students and automotive staff.  He is also highly valued as an entry-level automotive technician at South Bay Chrysler Jeep in Torrance.  Lastly, Nelson is currently enrolled it the Cerritos College CTE Teacher TRAC program, training to become an automotive instructor.

Dennis Ashley

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Dennis has been an inspiration for many in the Photography Department.  Despite continuing health issues, Dennis has loyally signed up for nearly every advanced course offered.  He has excelled in Intermediate Photography, Experimental Photography, Portrait Photography, Photography of the Landscape, Approaches to Studio Lighting, Color Photography, and is currently participating in Contemporary Photographic Expression.  Working with Dennis is both a pleasure and an honor.  His sincere interest and dedication help to motivate instructors and students to keep things genuine.

Joselyn Ayala
Speech Communications

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Joselyn Ayala is outstanding for her professionalism, responsibility, excellence, and sincerity.  She is also an exceptional speaker and competitor for the speech and debate team.  Joselyn was recently elected as the Speech Team president.  She displays great creativity and thoroughness in her projects and public speaking.  Joselyn has been accepted at several UCs for fall 2009.

Brandon Baker
Natural Sciences

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Brandon Baker is an intelligent, multi-talented, young man whose curiosity has led him to explore and excel in a wide range of classes in the natural sciences such as oceanography, chemistry, biology, and anatomy/physiology.  He has earned recognition for his efforts on the Dean’s and President’s honor lists.  He also received the Louis Armstrong Award as an outstanding jazz saxophone musician.  The next big challenge he is facing will be to begin a career as an emergency room physician.  His plan is to transfer next fall to a local UC to pursue this goal.

Jerry Barham
Plastics Manufacturing

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Jerry has a deep desire to learn and has recently overcome many personal obstacles, including major eye surgery and an amputation.  He has an impressive work experience portfolio.  He has worked as a crew member on a tuna boat, a mechanic for heavy hydraulic equipment, a volunteer for the WWII ship, “Lane Victory”, at the L.A. County Common Ground Garden as a master gardener, a millwright at San Onofre, a merchant marine captain, and also various assembly and production positions at the U.S. Naval shipyard.  Jerry helps others overcome their handicaps and challenges to realize their goals.

Micael Barnum

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Micael is unquestionably in the outstanding category.  His GPA is 3.84, with an “A” in all his history courses.  Actually, Micael has earned an “A” in 22 out of 24 courses taken at this college.  Doctors Susan Oliver and John Haas rate him as one of the finest student writers and analytical thinkers.  In addition, Micael demonstrates scholarly humility, which is refreshing and admirable.  Mr. Barnum will continue to excel academically and professionally.

Pedro Barrios
Computer Information Systems – Programmer (CC)

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Pedro is a student that embodies lifetime learning by augmenting his impressive skill set with outstanding performance in several programs offered by the department of Computer Information Sciences.  Beginning with his first course in the Java programming language and following through to Data Structures, our most advanced Computer Science course, he has augmented his studies with other languages and platforms.  Some of these include C# (pronounced see-sharp); ASP (pronounced aye-ess-pee); database technologies, including SQL Server and Oracle; operating systems which include Windows, UNIX and Linux; client-server programming; and the networking infrastructures that tie everything together.

Michael Barrita-Diaz
Political Science

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Michael Barrita-Diaz is always very engaged in class, actively participating in discussions of course material.  He has the uncanny ability to enliven a class with his curious questions which aim to challenge the status quo and conventional wisdom.  He is a self-motivated student with a determination to follow through on any project he starts.  Michael believes in the individual’s responsibility in a democracy.  There is a bright future ahead for Michael Barrita-Diaz.

Veronica Betance

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Veronica Betance is a nursing student in her final rotation.  Throughout her educational journey, she has maintained an outstanding GPA, in addition to work commitments and family responsibilities.  She is an excellent student academically, and represents all the qualities that a nurse should encompass.  She demonstrates outstanding abilities in her studies and application of theory in the clinical setting.

She intends to transfer to California State University, Los Angeles to further her nursing education.  She plans to obtain a Masters Degree in Nursing with hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner.  Knowing her determination, we have no doubt she will achieve her dreams.

Christine M. Brink

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Christine Brink has an overall GPA of 3.95 and her GPA in Geography Studies is 4.0.  Christine has remarkable command of the subject matter of Geography Studies.  She is poised and confident and all of us in the Earth Science Department are extremely proud of her academic achievements.

Tim Carpenter
Composites Inspection

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Tim Carpenter served in the United States Marine Corps and has been attending Cerritos College as a Plastics/Composites Manufacturing major for four years.  He has an impressive overall GPA of 3.8.  Tim has sought to improve his knowledge within the plastics, composites, and quality program classes.  He has recently taken a position within the industry utilizing his skills by working on a new prototype aircraft.  Tim is also a member of Team Falcon Technology working on the SAE Mini Baja Project and alternative fuel vehicles.

Chung-Mi June Chang
Child Development/Early Childhood

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June adds a calm, dignified presence to the classroom; a quiet, introspective learner to whom other students seem naturally drawn.  Her written assignments have a poetic quality to them; smooth and lyrical.  June is the type of student who puts great thought and respect into all classroom activities and she will be an amazing influence in the lives of young children.

Larry Coca

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Larry Coca is a highly motivated economics student who has achieved an “A” average on all honors assignments, as well as a 3.8 cumulative GPA.  After devoting some years to the military, he is now clearly focused on doing well academically.  He brings a mature perspective to his scholarship.

Jeff Dai

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Jeff Dai completed all of his chemistry and biology courses with top grades and has an impressive 3.92 GPA.  He is outstanding in all phases of his coursework.  He particularly stands out in his laboratory work where he leads his peers by example – organized, prepared, and meticulous in his procedures.  In short, he is the kind of student that we all love to have in our courses.  Jeff is looking forward to transferring to Cal State Long Beach and then will attend pharmacy school, where he can fulfill his desire to share the knowledge he has gained with his community.

Consuelo “Connie” Dominguez
Pharmacy Technician

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A career in healthcare has always been Connie Dominguez’s goal, especially since her father is a chiropractor.  But after personal and family crises forced Connie to leave USC after 2½ years, her goals seemed out of reach.  Connie took time to reflect on her situation and she then discovered Cerritos College.

Connie enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician Program, where she has maintained a 4.0 GPA and an overall 3.9 GPA.

The Pharmacy Technology Department strongly believes that Connie will be a successful pharmacy technician and will continue to be a wonderful representative of Cerritos’ Pharmacy Technology Department.

John Equihua
Computer Information Systems – Web Client Programming

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Thirteen years ago, John Equihua began studying Computer Science.  Then, the death of his father dramatically changed his life.  The years that followed were difficult.  However, John persevered and decided to return to school.  He is now working on his Associate’s Degree and providing a positive example to his teenage daughter.  He has maintained an excellent GPA of 3.68, and is pursuing his dream of working in the computer science industry.  He eventually plans on transferring to Cal State Fullerton to earn his Bachelor’s Degree.

Stephanie Fernandez
Court Reporting

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Stephanie Fernandez has been a role model for other court reporting students since she began the program.  With hard work and diligence, she has made excellent progress through her speed classes, and increased to 200 words per minute within two semesters of starting the program.  She takes her work very seriously and always strives to do her best.  Stephanie is presently completing her academic classes and internship hours and will soon be ready to take the CSR exam.  With her tremendous work ethic and professional attitude, Stephanie will make an outstanding court reporter.

Katelyn Foley

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Katelyn Foley is a hard working student who enjoys the challenges presented by science.  As a student of microbiology, she found the interaction between pathogenic microbes and their human hosts to be of great interest.  She later decided to continue that interest by pursuing a career in dental health.  Currently in her first year of Cerritos College’s dental hygiene program, Katelyn plans to realize her ambition of helping others by going into private practice and doing volunteer work with disadvantaged dental patients.  Katelyn’s academic excellence extends to all of her classes as evidenced by her current cumulative 3.9 GPA.

Jason Foral
Welding – Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Certificate of Achievement

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Jason decided to come to Cerritos College to further his education after completing an apprenticeship program with the Operating Engineers for Heavy Duty Repair on Earth Moving Equipment.  He started taking classes full time in welding while still maintaining his full-time job.  Jason obtained his Structural Steel certification and license from the City of Los Angeles.  This training and license gave Jason the opportunity to obtain a full-time position with California State University, Long Beach as a welding shop supervisor.  Jason has received a Certificate of Achievement in Gas Tungsten Arc Welding and is now working on additional certifications in high pressure piping.

Erick Galindo

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Erick Galindo has excelled in a wide array of journalism courses ranging from print journalism to online and multimedia journalism.  He served several semesters on the Talon Marks newspaper, two of which were as the editor-in-chief.  He was selected by journalism students statewide to serve a year as their Southern California representative on the executive board of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.  This past January, Erick was one of just two community college students nationwide to be invited to the prestigious New York Times Student Journalism Institute, where he worked elbow-to elbow with editors from the Times.

Nancy Gallardo 
Administration of Justice – AA

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Nancy Gallardo’s parents immigrated to the United States and started their family.  They instilled in Nancy and her sisters the values of hard work and education and promoted them as the path to success.  Nancy believes that any success she enjoys is due to her parents.  She has a 3.62 GPA and plans to be a judge some day.

Daisy Garcia
Creative Writing

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Daisy Garcia combines the academic rigor of the Scholars’ Honors Program with the creative expression of her own poetry and fiction.  As the founder and president of Writers Anonymous club, she has organized poetry readings, brought other campus clubs into the writing process, as well as introduced new literary genres to her colleagues.  Daisy also participates with the Writers Anonymous club in fundraisers.

Norman Garza

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Norman became interested in astronomy as a child watching “Project Universe” and visiting the Griffith Observatory.  He came to Cerritos College to pursue a certificate in business marketing, but took time to revisit his childhood interest in the stars.  We are happy he did!  In the time he has spent with our department, he has impressed us with his outstanding talent, performance, and dedication.  We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

J. Matthew Gaskill
Machine Tool Technology

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Matt is a degreed Aerospace engineer who has completed the Associate's Degree in Machine Tool Technology.  His dedication to learning and helping other students was exemplary.  Matt even helped the department receive donations from industry.

J. Matthew Gaskill
Composites Manufacturing

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Matt Gaskill has been attending Cerritos College as a double major for 2½ years in both Composites Manufacturing and Machine Tool Technology.  He has an impressive 4.0 overall GPA.

Matt works in the engineering field where he continually seeks to improve his knowledge and generously makes his skills and experience in plastics, composites, and CNC fabrication readily available to his fellow students.

Matt has been a catalyst for the Composites Manufacturing and Machine Tool Technology Departments by synthesizing the capabilities of both.

Matt has recently been awarded his Associates of Arts Degree in Machine Tool Technology and is close to achieving his degree in Composites Manufacturing.

Armando Gonzalez Gomez
Computer Information Systems – Java Programming (CC)

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Armando Gonzalez began his academic career at Cerritos College with an undeclared major.  While working on his GE credits, he took several classes in Automotive and Physical Education, and along the way was introduced to Computer Sciences via CIS 101.  Since then he has declared his major in Computer Sciences and has begun studying the three most important programming languages, as well as taking advanced courses for web development, operating systems, and networking.  This semester he is one of a select group of students taking our most advanced course.

Christopher Gutierrez

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Christopher Gutierrez came to Cerritos College with no idea what he should study.  He sampled psychology thinking he might want to become a counselor, but later changed his mind when someone told him there were too many psychologists already.  He switched to economics because he found Professor Soloman Namala  to be hilarious, but eventually the math classes turned him against the entire field.  Once he started taking some English classes with professors like Frank Gaik and Frank Mixson, he became another convert to the field.  He finally found something that was truly interesting, so he just dove in and hasn’t resurfaced since.  The English Department proudly claims him as one of their own and recognizes his achievements.

Sonia Gutierrez

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Sonia Gutierrez is an exemplary student, showing intellectual curiosity and the drive to succeed in the field of her major: Anthropology.  All of her anthropology instructors have noticed her in their classes; sitting front and center, attentive, with pen and paper, ready to write down words of wisdom.

She is involved in the Anthropology Club, participating in both planning and club-sponsored activities.  She is ever ready with a smile, a kind word, and a helping hand for her fellow students.

David Hemsley
Computer Information Sciences – Systems Analyst (CA)

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Davis has a Masters in mathematics from San Jose State University, 30 years experience as a computer systems professional, and is currently a UNIX systems administrator for Cedars-Sinai Hospital.  He remembers his first high-level language was FORTRAN and his programs were entered on punched cards.  At the time he was an undergraduate at San Jose State.  There was no Computer Science program.  David is returning to school to update his formal education in technology and plans to transfer to USC.  David has excelled in the CIS Systems Analyst program at Cerritos College.

Ty Heng
Welding - Arc Welding Certificate of Achievement

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Mr. Heng arrived at Cerritos College soon after being honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps.  Ty started taking his general education classes and decided to take welding classes as well.  Within a few semesters, he obtained a certificate and license from the City of Los Angeles in Structural Steel, a Certificate of Achievement in Arc Welding, and an Associate of Arts degree in Welding.  With this training, Ty obtained a job with a local welding manufacturer as a welding supervisor.  He is now working on his BS Degree and hopes to become a welding instructor in the future.

Kyu Hyun Han

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Kyu was one of the best calculus students ever encountered in the Cerritos College Math Department.  Besides being able to solve each and every problem posed to him, he was able to complete many of them by using multiple approaches (some of which are quite original).  Finally, besides being the top scoring student in the class, he never hesitated to help struggling classmates. This kind of selfless dedication to others, especially in such a competitive setting, seems very rare these days.

Melina Jaime
Dental Hygiene

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Melina Jaime has excelled in the Dental Hygiene Program achieving an impressive 4.0 GPA.  Melina is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and a skilled clinician.  She will be an outstanding asset to the dental hygiene profession.  She will be representing Cerritos College in the State Dental Hygiene Table Clinic Competition in Anaheim later this year.  Additionally, Melina demonstrates the leadership and research skills necessary to make a difference in her chosen profession and her community.  The faculty is exceedingly proud to have Melina as a representative for the Cerritos College Dental Hygiene Program.

Edward Jenkins

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Edward Jenkins is an exemplary dance student.  He is bright, articulate, disciplined, and focused on his studies.  Edward has performed in the department concerts and was selected to participate in the 2008 Southwest Regional American College Dance Festival at UC Irvine.

Edward is an outstanding performer who is expressive in his dance movement and precise in rhythm, timing, and dance phrasing.  He learns choreography quickly and excels in collaboration with his peers.  His noteworthy attributes are his eagerness to learn, his energy in rehearsal and performance, and his excellent work ethic.

The department anticipates continued success in Edward’s academic and artistic endeavors.

Vanessa Johnson

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Vanessa Johnson currently has a pharmacy technician license, but she returned to school to become a pharmacist.  Vanessa majors in biology and she is highly interested in French.  She has studied French since the sixth grade and has never looked back since.  After completing her studies at Cerritos College, Vanessa plans to transfer to USC, where she will study pharmacy and French.  Vanessa’s dream is to visit France and other francophone countries where she can immerse herself in a new culture and use her knowledge in French.  The French Department nominates Vanessa for her spirit and her scholarship.  She is an excellent student.

Hee Yeong Kim

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Hee Yeong was born in South Korea.  She came with her family to the U.S. eight years ago.  Despite the language and culture barriers, she has been an outstanding student who is diligent, enthusiastic, dedicated, and joyful.  Hee Yeong has a perfect 4.0 GPA and is in the Scholars’ Honors Program.  She loves art and has been an active volunteer in her church.  She plans to get a BS Degree in chemistry and her goal in life is to become a pharmacist.

Susannah Kim
Theatre Arts

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Susannah Kim has been an outstanding Theatre Arts student.  She has completed all of the core courses as is preparing to transfer to a UC school.  Susannah had the lead role in two productions and received an American College Theatre Irene Ryan Acting nomination for her role in the musical, Urinetown.  Susannah’s work ethic, enthusiasm, and dedication make her a model student.

Brian Kinney
Speech Language Pathologist Assistant (SLPA Program)

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Brian Kinney has distinguished himself with an outstanding GPA of 3.93 in his studies at Cerritos College.  His instructors consider him a wonderful example of an inquiring mind, a terrific self-starter, a powerful clinician, and a great scholar.  Brian can always be counted on to add a note of practical reality to class discussions about treatment for communication disorders.  Brian has worked in the field as a speech aide in Westminster USD with preschool children who have been identified as speech-language delayed and disordered students.

Fatima Lampa
Business Accounting

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Fatima displays a great desire to learn, and is always prepared for class.  She grasps advanced accounting concepts quickly.  She understands both the concepts underlying the material presented, and their mechanical application.  Fatima has managed to maintain a 3.94 GPA while working full-time.

Carmen Lopez
Child Development/Preschool Director

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Carmen Lopez is an excellent role model for all Early Childhood Education students at Cerritos College, through her positive attitude and continued interest in learning more.  She comes to each class session prepared with a smile and a willingness to help other students.  Carmen’s enthusiasm and dedication to her education about young children and as an advocate for children’s rights, is evident in both her written work and class involvement.  Congratulations to Carmen Lopez for her outstanding efforts as a student and mother, and for the difference she makes in the lives of young children.

Nancy Lopez

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As the first child of hardworking, immigrant parents, Nancy Lopez was taught the importance of respecting others, working hard, and the value of a good education.  She has learned her lessons well!  Upon graduating, with honors from Warren High School, she enrolled at Cerritos College to take on a demanding pre-med curriculum.  She excelled in calculus, chemistry, and biology while maintaining a 3.85 GPA and earning a place on the Dean’s and President’s honor lists.  Realizing the importance of physical education, she has also included several dance classes in her curriculum.  Miss Lopez is a Pre-Med Club officer and currently serves the ASCC as Assistant Commissioner of Public Relations.  Nancy is currently working on a research project in psychobiology and considering research and medical practice in neurobiology or cardiac medicine.  She will be ready to pursue these interests upon transfer to UCSD or UCLA next fall.  Cerritos College is proud of this intelligent young lady who can discuss molecular biology while teaching you to dance the salsa!

Liliana Martinez
Administration of Justice – Transfer (CSU Dominguez Hills)

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Liliana Martinez has always had a passion for history and the law.  She enjoys studying and analyzing laws and then applying them to specific situations.  Before immigrating to the U.S., she worked on the Nayarit State Supreme Court of Mexico and now works for the L.A. County Department of Public and Social Services.  She has a GPA of 3.85 and plans to join the Probation Department.

Samuel Millard
Woodworking Manufacturing Technologies

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Sam is a quiet and thoughtful young man working to achieve his AA.  He has excelled in a number of woodworking classes and also works part-time in the Woodworking Department.  His work in classes demonstrates a high level of achievement while his demeanor makes him a pleasure to be around.

Werner Mora
Engineering Design Technology Certificate

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Werner Mora is a highly deserving student.  He has completed 122 units with an “A” average and received the Engineering Design Technology Certificate.  Werner is a hard worker, fast learner, and accurate designer.  He has a bright future ahead of him.

Erik Moreno
Real Estate

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Erik Moreno is an excellent student.  He has demonstrated a superior knowledge of the real estate industry.  Erik’s goals for his future real estate career are realistic and achievable.  Erik is well liked by his peers and is a very good role model for other students.  He will be very successful in the real estate industry.

Shari R. Naegle
Business Accounting – Advanced

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Shari is one of those students who understands the importance of preparation and practice.  She always comes to class prepared and participates fully in all activities.  Not only will she have the answer to the question posed, but she will also provide additional information beyond what is requested.  Shari will complete her undergraduate education and have a successful career in the accounting world.

Toshiko Nagata
Child Development – Infant/Toddler

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Toshiko Nagata is a remarkable individual whose story is an inspiration to others.  She and her family survived life in an internment camp during WWII.  The family, being Japanese-American, lost almost everything they had; their home and almost all their possessions.

Since then Toshiko has lived a full life.  She values education and continues to further her learning.  She is persistent, dedicated, self-motivated, and a true life-long learner.  Her disposition toward children is one of kindness, patience, tolerance, humility, and respect.

Noe Navarro

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Noe has completed three semesters of physics and is currently enrolled in his fourth.  He easily earned strong “A” grades in the completed courses, and impressed us with his talent, conscientiousness and pursuit of excellence.  His overall GPA is a whopping 3.84.  Noe plans to transfer to UCLA or UC Berkeley this coming fall, and major in either Civil or Electrical Engineering.  His goals are to earn at least a Master’s Degree, and then pursue a career in either public or private industry.  Noe will be an outstanding engineer, and the department wishes him the best.

Jennifer Ortega

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Jennifer Ortega doesn’t say much, but when she does, watch out!  In a recent philosophical discussion, her classmates called her brilliant.  Jennifer – with her philosophy and chemistry double major, 3.82 GPA, and tutorial skills in everything from logic to argumentative writing to economics – is an intellectual powerhouse, as well as a wonderful person.

Keila Palacios
Computer Information Sciences – Computer Science Transfer Program

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Keila has been interested in computers for as long as she can remember.  At 14, she immigrated with her mother from Peru.  After two years of ESL she began to excel in regular English and math classes.  Since beginning her studies at Cerritos College, she is sure she wants to pursue a career in Engineering and Computer Science.  CIS instructors report that Keila exemplifies a role model for the “Habits of Mind” campaign.  One said:  “She is always the first to post solutions to homework assignments or lab projects, and her work is highly organized with impeccable attention to detail.”

Arianne Ponce

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Arianne came to this country a decade ago with lofty goals; some would even say they were extremely unrealistic.  However, through dedication and hard work she has proven that her dreams are not only possible, now they appear inevitable.  She has mastered every course, demonstrating superior knowledge covering a wide variety of topics.  Her success at Cerritos extends past academics as Arianne’s social skills have led to many leadership roles for her peer group.  Most importantly, Arianne will ensure her family’s well-being.

Diana Ramirez

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Diana is an amazing young woman who illustrates some of the best qualities of students here at Cerritos College.  Like many students, Diana overcame major obstacles to be here.  Her success can be attributed to her dedication, her perseverance and never giving up on her dreams.  At Cerritos College, Diana has excelled.  She has been involved in student clubs, and works on campus and in the classroom helping others who need a bit of guidance.

Phylis C. Reimer
Music – General

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Phylis is an impressive student to have in class.  She has shown an incredible dedication to learning and improving her skills.  She drives a great distance to attend classes here, but is always punctual.  Her focus in class is amazing.  Phylis is a very gifted student.

Juan Rodriguez

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Juan shows great intellectual promise and musical ability.  He excels as a guitarist and has successfully completed the Cerritos music program.  Juan has performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Monterey Jazz Festival, and has earned awards as an outstanding soloist at the Reno, Irvine, Folsom, and Lionel Hampton Jazz Festivals.  He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  Like most community college students, Juan holds down a number of jobs ranging from construction work to teaching guitar.  Juan is civically minded performing at a local retirement home in Cerritos.  He is an active participant in the Cerritos College Music Club.

Victor Alfonso Rojas
Engineering Design & Production Technology Certificate

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Victor Rojas is an enthusiastic student who participates in class discussions and displays tremendous knowledge in the area of design.  His instructors foresee a successful future for him.

Shannon Simpson
Physical Education/Athletics

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Shannon is an outstanding student-athlete.  One of the top cross country/track and field athletes in the state of California, Shannon has achieved a standing on the track while maintaining a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.

Since arriving at Cerritos College in the fall of 2007, Shannon’s class load has included courses such as trigonometry, physical anthropology, American history, and intercultural communication.  She has been on the Dean’s List as well as the President’s Honors List every semester since her arrival. 

Shannon plans on attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas next fall.  She has received scholarship offers from many universities.

Daniel Snipes

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Daniel Snipes is a motivated and dedicated student.  He not only obtains outstanding grades, but also contributes thoughtful and insightful ideas within his classes.  He goes out of his way to assist and engage his peers.  Daniel is currently a psychology tutor and a teaching assistant for statistics.  In addition, he is working on an independent research study.  In 2007-08, he served as president of Psi Beta.  In this role, he was extremely organized and active.  Advisors for the club describe Daniel as the most socially effective officer of Psi Beta in its 31-year history, increasing participation by almost 50 percent.

Has  Sovanny
Engineering Design Technology – AA Degree

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Sovanny Has is an excellent example of an “A” student.  He is a quick learner, who always participates fully in classes, and greatly contributes to classroom discussions.  His instructors foresee a great future for him in the Engineering Design Technology field.

Vivian Velasquez
Computer Information Systems – Programmer (CA)

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When Vivian Velasquez arrived from Guatemala, she lacked English skills and was placed in Spanish-only classes.  Then, a change in the law made all regular classes English-only.  After much hard work in ESL courses, she was finally fluent enough to take her first elective.  She chose Computer Science.  Just seeing how programs were made, and what one could do with them, influenced her to choose Computer Science as a major and career goal.

Jennifer Willett
Physical Therapist Assistant

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Patients treated by Jennifer have described her as having exceptional interpersonal skills which motivate them to work hard in their rehabilitation programs.  Her classmates commented on their appreciation for her tutoring and mentoring throughout the program.  Her teachers also find her to be intelligent, interactive, and an excellent critical thinker.  Jennifer earned a 4.0 GPA and has been a true joy to have as a student.

Caitlyn Michelle Williams
Child Development – Special Education

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Caitlyn Williams is an inquisitive, empathetic, and curious learner.  Caitlyn’s interest in working with children with special needs began when she was 13 years old as a volunteer for the “Special Sitter” program through the Campfire Girls.  She was specially trained to work with autistic children and wanted to learn all that she could in order to become a more effective teacher.  Caitlyn is a motivated, effervescent, and dedicated student whom we are fortunate to have in the Child Development Program.

Hongmei Xu

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Hongmei Xu has only been in the United States for three years, but that has not kept her from pursuing her dreams as an artist.  As a student, Hongmei is always at the top of the class, going far beyond the course requirements and producing beautiful paintings that express her love for life.  She is a positive role model and inspiration to her peers.  As a full-time student and mother, who is putting herself through college, Hongmei never compromises the integrity and professionalism of her work. 

Hongmei will soon complete her AA degree in Art from Cerritos College and plans to continue her BFA degree in Drawing and Painting at CSULB. 

Diana Yanez

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Diana is a hardworking, dedicated, and unassuming student whose academic achievement is easily recognized by faculty including the Dean’s and President’s Honors’ lists.  She has travelled far to pursue an education and a bio-medical career since working with her uncle, in Mexico, at his surgical practice.  While excelling in our biology curriculum she has joined Project HOPE, Phi Theta Kappa, and is beginning to volunteer at Downey Medical Center, all the while making it a priority to visit her parents and family in Mexico as often as possible.