News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: July 2, 2002 (02-37)
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Pager: 301-930-0972
               Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

An Occasional Roundup of Noteworthy Achievements by
MC Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff


Former Montgomery College honors student Cypriane Williams has added the Donald H. Sheehan Memorial Prize to a long list of accomplishments at high-ranking Smith College. The prestigious award recognizes Williams for her outstanding work in American studies.

Williams, who received her B.A. degree from Smith with high honors last month, is moving along to graduate school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her work there will be supported by the proceeds from a Beinecke prize, one of 20 awarded to elite college seniors in the United States. The prize carries with it a $30,000 graduate school scholarship, which Williams will use in studying toward a doctorate in African-American studies.

It’s been a long, proud journey for Cypriane Williams, who comes from a low-income background in rural southern Louisiana and has described herself as a "dirt farmer." She joined the Navy right out of high school and served as a medical lab technician; her career included sea duty with the Sixth Fleet. After being discharged from the Navy, Williams worked as a researcher at the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health.

But her thirst for knowledge led her back into the classroom at the Montgomery College Rockville campus. Turning her attention from medicine to the humanities, she flowered as a scholar and campus citizen. She became a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society and was the first MC student to win the Mark Curtis award, which recognizes achievement in the humanities.

Williams transferred to Smith College on full scholarship in early 2000 and again achieved at a high level. She became a prominent figure at the Northampton, Massachusetts school, which is tied with Vassar for 14th on the U.S. News and World Report listings of America’s top liberal arts colleges. She also was chosen as student representative on the search committee for a new college president and as Smith’s candidate for the Beineke award.

During her graduate studies at North Carolina, Williams says she plans to focus on her native Louisiana’s Afro-Creole culture and its contributions to Southern cultural history.



Germantown campus Economics Professor Bruce Madariaga has been chosen as one of the top 35 star alumni at Delaware County Community College in Pennsylvania. Madariaga will be honored this fall at the College’s 35th anniversary celebration.

The story of Bruce Madariaga is the story of untold numbers of students who have found themselves at community colleges. He was a chronic truant; a sometimes recluse who simply hated high school and wound up dropping out. But, after he earned a high school equivalency, Delaware County CC wrote a letter inviting him to see what the college had to offer. He went to the Media, Pennsylvania school, found a place, and turned his life around.

Through his experience at Delaware County, Madariaga said he became "a real believer in education and a real believer in community colleges." He went on from there to earn two master’s degrees, one from Harvard, and to forge a highly successful career as a senior economist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

But the lure of community college life led him away from the EPA to Montgomery College and his current position as an economics professor.

Delaware County Community College invited him back in May of 2000 to deliver its commencement address and he soon will be listed among that College’s all-time elite.



For the second year in a row, a team representing Montgomery College’s Takoma Park campus was top fund-raiser in the Relay for Life event at Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. The peerless team, known as M.C.T.P. for marchers, crawlers, trippers, and paraders (not to mention Montgomery College, Takoma Park), is composed of faculty and staff members.

Led by captain Deborah Johnstone, the M.C.T.P.’ers had raised $3,155 at press time, with donations still coming in.

The Relay for Life, held this year on June 22-23, runs from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m., with team members walking in shifts all night. Sponsors make contributions for each team member to raise money for cancer research, education, and programs.

The M.C.T.P. team also included Roberta Buckberg, Mary Flinn, Debra Hayre, Nancy Hicks, Barbara Morgan, and Linda Williams.

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