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2024 Takoma Park/Silver Spring Honors and Awards Convocation

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 The Presidential Scholar Award

Maulika Masson's picture
Maulika Masson

Maulika Masson exemplifies the very best of Montgomery College by distinguishing herself academically with a 3.94 GPA in rigorous honors coursework as a Biology STEM major, through her extraordinary commitment to helping her fellow students and her community, and her compassionate service to those less fortunate. She is a Phi Theta Kappa officer, a Renaissance Scholar, a STEM Scholar, an Honors Student, an MC LEADS graduate, and on the Dean’s List. She is also the founder and president of MC’s STEM Club and has served as a senator at large in the Student Government Association. Maulika is the recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Above and Beyond Outstanding Club Leader Award, and the MC Spirit of Service Medallion and Award. She plans to transfer as a pre-med major, where her focus will be on research in endocrinology.

Only one student on each campus is selected to receive the Presidential Scholar Award, making it one of the most distinguished campus awards to be presented each year.  All nominees must meet the following criteria: 1) outstanding scholarship (GPA of 3.5 or above), 2) outstanding leadership to the College or Community, and 3) outstanding service to the College or the Community.  Nominations are reviewed by a committee who has the very difficult task of selecting just one student from their campus to receive this award.  Each Presidential Scholar receives a plaque as well as a monetary award to continue their education.

Departmental Honors

Outstanding Business Student Award 

Sophia G. Kalinyak (Nominated by Professor Maria Sevillano)
Sophia is an outstanding student who has demonstrated an excellent achievement by maintaining academic excellence, perfect attendance, and an outstanding work ethic, which has contributed to her pursuit of excellence. Sophia maintains a positive attitude towards learning and willingly takes on feedback to improve her educational experience and journey.

Genesis A. Rivas (Nominated by Professor Maria Sevillano)
Genesis consistently works toward more knowledge and understanding, and she seeks out every opportunity to learn by asking questions and leading conversations, where true learning takes place. She is committed to her continuous academic growth, leading by her own good example of exploration, interest, and participation, always in a positive manner. She is gifted with exceptional qualities, abilities, and intellectual curiosity.

Bernice F. Pierson Biology Award

Gael Castillo (Nominated by Dr. Kimberly George)
Gael is a strong STEM student pursing a Biological Sciences degree at MC. He has a 4.0 overall for his 3 semesters at MC with A’s in BIOL 150, 151, 212, & 213 as well as CHEM 131 and CHEM 132. His critical reasoning skills and strong writing skills were evident on his Microbiology unknown report and all written work related to the final presentation to date. His efforts in microbiology resulted in an A for his midterm grade and Professor George is fully confident that he will end the course with the same grade.

Gail Jenkins Anatomy & Physiology Award

Alexandra Lindsay (Nominated by Dr. Carole Wolin)
Alexandra has taken both Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II for honors credit and excelled in these classes. She presented her honors research on The Stress Response, The Vagus Nerve, and its Effects on Simple Columnar Epithelium at the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council Conference where she won an award for best conference poster.   

Excellence in First Year Chemistry Award 

Ingyin Myat (Nominated by Dr. Aksana Chabatar)
Ingyin is an outstanding student for this award with a GPA of 3.92 in the Biological Sciences program. According to Professor Aksana Chabatar, she is one of the best students she has had in many years. Her ACS scores were the highest in the class, and her score was equivalent to an A on the national level in the ACS exams. Overall, her good-natured personality consistently made her a pleasure to work with.

Excellence in Organic Chemistry Award

Gabriela P. Aguilar-Martinez (Nominated by Dr. Cory Newman)
Gabriela currently has a 3.89 GPA as a General Studies STEM student. She has earned apostrophe A's in CHEM 131, 132, 203 and had an A at midterm in CHEM 204. She is an outstanding student. She quietly gets things done but performs at the highest level in the class.

Excellence in Psychology Award

Sandy Carter (Nominated by Professor Emma Grace)
Sandy has demonstrated excellent attendance and participation in her PSYC100 General Psychology course in Spring 2024. She has never missed a class and has always actively participated in the class discussion and other activities.

Perseverance in Psychology Award

Lauren Mott (Nominated by Dr. Frances Raphael-Howell)
Ms. Mott demonstrated persistence in completing course requirements successfully despite family and work challenges. 

Perseverance in Psychology Award

Faithanne Hill (Nominated by Dr. Bonita Parker)
Faithanne is a dedicated student who excelled in PSYC 100 class early in the Fall semester, and even though she faced a setback due to serious health concerns, she persevered and completed her coursework successfully. 

Great Determination Award

Maria Delgadillo Mena (Nominated by Professor Matthew Decker)
Maria is the student every faculty member hopes for! She attends every class, takes rich notes, seeks out support (when necessary), devours constructive feedback, and composes effortful papers. She also maintained her academic goals despite a personal situation that left her quite vulnerable for a matter of weeks. She turned that vulnerability into scholastic energy, writing some of the most powerful essays of the semester, and then taking advantage of new opportunities. She is one of the Digital Storytelling Internship's newest interns this spring!

Great Logic Award

Helene DeSimone (Nominated by Professor Lynn Roessner-Ankney)
I actually want to click on all the reasons above for nominating Helen. Her insights on texts and her creative approach led to really engaging discussion and written work.

Great Model Writing Award

Anusa Bhandari (Nominated by Professor Cinder Barnes)
Anusa is hard-working and persistent. She is meticulous about her work. 

Francis Carl Cuenco (Nominated by Dr. Michael LeBlanc)
Francis has been a class leader in both my English 101 & 102 courses. I have used his writing as a model in class for others to follow because of his elegant style, his rigorous critical thinking, and his intelligent use of sources.

Amy Holder (Nominated by Professor Cinder Barnes)
Amy was very hardworking and participatory even in the remote setting.

Jenn Norris (Nominated by Professor Matthew Decker)
Jenn is a tremendous writer and self-advocate. She has submitted her exceptional writing to the Cherry Blossom Conference and Writing in the Disciplines, she is building a list of MC-specific and beyond resources for women of color, and she is in the process of writing an article about her experience for The Excalibur. She has emerged as a natural leader, and the way she has persevered this semester is worthy of emulation and reward!

Lorraine Rego (Nominated by Professor Cinder Barnes)
Lorraine is a joy to teach and adds to the positive climate of the class with her participation. 

Great Writing Voice Award

Sophia Hall Levin (Nominated by Professor Cinder Barnes)
Sophia is a great student whose perspective is always insightful and well-considered. Her participation was a great gift. 

Chrishelle Plowman (Nominated by Professor Cinder Barnes)
Chrishelle’s participation made the course a joy to teach even in a remote setting where a lot of students had their cameras off.

Genesis Rivas (Nominated by Dr. Michael LeBlanc)
Through two semesters, both English 101 and 102, Genesis has expressed her unique and powerful voice in her writing, a voice that smoothly unifies all of her thoughts in an engaging and insightful way. 

Most Improved Award

Wendy Wells-Simpson (Nominated by Professor Lynn Roessner-Ankney)
Wendy came to class every day determined to improve as a writer. And improve she did! Her quick grasp of essay structure and development led to some of the strongest 101 essays.

Outstanding Editor for The Excalibur Student Newspaper

Leslie Quinonez (Nominated by Professor Lisa Nevans Locke)
As Assistant Editor of the Excalibur student newspaper this academic year, Leslie has grown into an accomplished writer, editor, and writing teacher. Leslie teaches students to write news-style stories, and her comments on their drafts are strikingly similar to those our English faculty would make. She creates "tip sheets" that offer models and rules for her writers, and her thoughtful comments on organization, content, grammar, and AP style include suggestions about identifying and removing the writer's opinion; "showing" rather than "telling"; reminders about proper use of quotation marks; and much more.

Quite Creative Writing Award 

Sophia Hall Levin (Nominated by Dr. Michael LeBlanc)
In Introduction to Fiction Writing, Sophia produced wonderfully imaginative and deeply thoughtful stories that explore the psychology of the human condition. She crafted one emotionally complex story about a lonely man visited by a girl claiming to be his daughter in a small Alaska town. I'm proud to be publishing this fantastic story in The Sligo Journal.

Grace Kigo (Nominated by Professor Cinder Barnes)
Grace’s perspectives are often both creative and unique. She has a great attitude and adds to the positive dynamic of the class. 

Unique Perspective Award

Olivia Nchang N Epse Ajong (Nominated by Professor Lynn Roessner-Ankney)
Olivia brought curiosity to every class and looked at assignments from a creative (yet totally connected) perspective. Her engagement with class material was contagious, and she often livened up our Zoom class with her presence.

Excellence in Communication Leadership

Xochilt Medina (Nominated by Dr. Stacey Peterson)
Xochilt was one of the hosts for the Communication Studies Symposium in March 2024. Through her leadership, she exhibited the spirit of collaboration along with a sincere dedication to the event’s success.

Justin Smith (Nominated by Dr. Stacey Peterson)
Justin was one of the hosts of our Communication Studies Symposium in March 2024. He exhibited strong leadership skills, enthusiasm for the Communication discipline, and has been an active participant in the Montgomery College community. His willingness to take initiative and his intellectual curiosity have made a lasting impact among his professors and peers.  

The ELAP Excellence in Spoken English Award

Yu-Ching Hsu (Nominated by Professor Genesis Powers)
Yu-Ching is a very hardworking student with a high (A) grade in the course. In our Zoom course, she consistently (and with her camera on) participates in responding to questions, asking questions, and volunteering her work to be used as an example for our class discussions and feedback. She submits her work on time, and it is always clear that she has put a great deal of time and effort into completing it. Recently, she grasped and applied a concept that was difficult for her classmates to apply, and we were able to use her work as a model for others to revise their own attempts. 

The Ruth Shigley Award for Academic Achievement in Reading

Isidro Benitez Davalos (Nominated by Professor James Murray)
Isidro has shown commendable persistence and improvement in class, raising his grade from a C early in the semester to a current A in the course. He consistently participates in class discussions, offering informed and insightful comments. He has achieved this ELAP success while concurrently taking a CISCO cybersecurity class, studying for CompTIA certification, and caring for his three-year-old daughter. His success in his ELAP coursework while attending to his other goals and responsibilities exemplifies the effort this award recognizes.

The Ruth Shigley Award for Academic Achievement in Writing

Rabia Dasti (Nominated by Professor Jona Colson)
Rabia has consistently demonstrated superior writing skills, exceeding the expectations outlined in the course's student learning outcomes. Despite the challenges of balancing her academic studies with her full-time employment at MCPS, Rabia has maintained an A grade in the course, showcasing her unwavering commitment and determination to excel. She has returned to school after over 5 years of raising a family and working full-time. She is always the first one online (remote course), completes all assignments on time, and helps her fellow students in breakout rooms. She is an outstanding student and individual. 

Outstanding Exercise Science Major of the Year Award

Aiden Abuki (Nominated by Professor Richard Shaw)
Aiden has grown from an academic perspective with timely completion of his assignments and projects. However, as an aspiring personal trainer and future business owner, Aiden has demonstrated tremendous personal growth in his communication skills and connectivity with participants in department community events. During our department simulated personal training sessions, he provided proficient exercise instruction while connecting with his clients on a personal level. He provides an excellent example of what Montgomery College students should strive for before entering the workforce. 

Academic Excellence in Arabic Award

Abdul Meredith (Nominated by Professor Rania Suliman)
Abdul is being honored with the Academic Excellence Award for Arabic in 2024, recognizing his remarkable dedication and exceptional performance in the Arabic class. Abdul's unwavering commitment to excellence, evidenced by his consistent engagement and impressive academic achievements, distinguishes him as a deserving recipient of this prestigious accolade.

Academic Excellence in French Award

Jacqueline Nouboudem (Nominated by Dr. Elvira Luna-Escudero-Alie)
Jacqueline is a superb student of French 101. She is enthusiastic about learning, has high standards for herself, and loves the French language and culture. Jacqueline participates well in class, asks meaningful questions and always submits all her assignments perfect and on time. She deserves the Academic Excellence Award for French in 2024.

Academic Excellence in Spanish Award

Meron Daba (Nominated by Professor Shelley Jones)
Meron is currently in my Elementary Spanish class, and despite never having taken a Spanish class before, she is excelling beautifully due to her interest in the subject matter and her extraordinary work ethic. Meron grasps new concepts easily and is eager to apply what she learns in class and beyond. This semester she enthusiastically engaged in a Collaborative Online International Learning/Global Classrooms project with students from El Salvador. 

Carolina Earp (Nominated by Dr. Elvira Luna-Escudero-Alie)
Carolina is an excellent student of Spanish. She got the highest marks in Spanish Intermediate I, Intermediate II, and Spanish 216 which is a literature course and the highest Spanish course we offer at MC. Carolina is very motivated, hard-working, creative, and responsible. Her command of the Spanish language is impeccable. She deserves the Academic Excellence Award for Spanish in 2024.

Maria Marchelli (Nominated by Professor Shelley Jones)
Maria is currently in my Intermediate Spanish class and is one of the most dedicated students I have taught at MC. She is passionate about improving her fluency in the language and does the work necessary to achieve this goal. Maria has the distinction of being the only student in the class to choose to work with students from the Universidad Gerardo Barrios in El Salvador as part of her Cultural Appreciation project in the course. Her final project demonstrated her academic maturity as well as her ability to see herself as a global citizen. 

Alexander Robbins (Nominated by Dr. Elvira Luna-Escudero-Alie)
Alexander is an outstanding student of Spanish 216, Introduction to Latin American Literature. He writes all his assignments in spectacular ways, participates a lot in class, is hard-working and always aims for excellence. He deserves the Academic Excellence Award for Spanish in 2024.

Outstanding Performance and Achievements in International Studies Award

Gabriel Alfaro (Nominated by Professor Karl Smith)
Gabriel has excelled in a number of political science and related history courses. His enthusiasm and commitment goes so far as his recent participation in a week-long Model UN Conference in NYC. Our class in comparative politics is enhanced by his knowledge of Latin American economic development, political regimes, and perhaps most importantly, soccer players and teams throughout the world. If you want a breakdown of a nation's economic policies, political regime, AND the state of their national soccer team, then Gabriel is your man.

Malika Olaitan (Nominated by Professor Karl Smith)
Malika has done outstanding work in Comparative Politics, and Latin American History among other courses. She is quietly persistent. I admire her work with her classmates and diligence in completing assignments.

Outstanding Philosophy Student Award

Cameron Neyzari (Nominated by Professor Bonard Molina Garcia)
Cameron is outstanding. He devours class materials and keeps going with outside research. Cameron is always prepared to dive into complex and challenging discussions while also bringing an openness and sense of humor that benefits the whole class. The academic world is better because Cameron is in it.

Algebra to Calculus Award

Paul Ofori (Nominated by Professor Kim Fouche)
This award is given to Paul in recognition of his journey from developmental math to calculus, which showcases their unwavering dedication and commitment to academic growth. Paul’s steadfast determination and tireless effort are evident in their progression through the challenging coursework. Paul’s transformation from struggling with foundational concepts to mastering calculus demonstrates their resilience and passion for learning. 

American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges Math Award

Absalat Muleta 
Absalat Muleta participated in the AMAYTC exam which is a national mathematics exam offered in fall and spring. Absalat had the highest total score of all TPSS students on the exam.

Mathematics Excellence Award

Arman Sagmanligil (Nominated by Professor Alice Wang)
Arman has been nominated by the faculty in the mathematics department for his excellence in mathematics. In addition to being an outstanding student, he is intellectually curious, kind and supportive of his fellows. May he continue to grow and distinguish himself in all ways, as he has done here at Montgomery College, Takoma Park!

Outstanding Cloud Computing Award

Daniel Alfaro (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
Daniel has consistently showcased exceptional dedication and mastery in cloud computing, delivering projects that exemplify technical excellence and innovative thinking.

Angel Campbel (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
Angel’s exceptional grasp of cloud networking principles, combined with a forward-thinking approach to technology, has resulted in standout coursework that showcases both theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Gus Cline (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
With a keen eye for detail and a natural aptitude for cloud networking concepts, Gus has produced coursework of outstanding quality, demonstrating both depth of understanding and practical application.

Ayah Hamouda (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
Ayah stands out for her innovative approach to cloud infrastructure challenges, contributing ideas that blend theoretical knowledge with practical insights.

Hikma Hussen (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
Hikma has excelled through a combination of rigorous analytical skills and a collaborative spirit, consistently delivering work that surpasses expectations.

Claudia Koumba Ndjana (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
With a focus on cloud security, Claudia has not only excelled academically but has also introduced novel ideas that address contemporary challenges in the field.

Kaliza Mvunganyi (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
Demonstrating unparalleled dedication, Kaliza has tackled advanced topics in cloud computing with a proactive approach, often exploring beyond the curriculum to enhance her projects with the latest technologies.

Shalin Nana (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
Shalin’s coursework in cloud networking reflects a profound understanding of the subject matter, highlighted by his innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Emmanuel Nicolas (Nominated by Professor Ping-Wei Tsai)
Emmanuel has been showing a strong learning motivation from the beginning of the semester. He likes to help others solve lab questions. He is a problem solver and interested in learning advanced knowledge. He has been maintaining a perfect score in the class.

Chimoke Nwogu (Nominated by Professor Ping-Wei Tsai)
Chimoke is a responsible student and has been showing strong learning skills in the cloud computing field. He has been studying ahead of the class and likes to work on challenging tasks. Chimoke knows how to maintain and balance the tasks between academics and his part-time job. He is one of the best candidates for receiving a department award, which can inspire others and encourage himself.

Ronnise Smith (Nominated by Dr. CK Chiang)
By consistently delivering high-quality, innovative projects in cloud computing, Ronnise has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for creative problem-solving and technical skill.

Siham Tahir (Nominated by Professor Ping-Wei Tsai)
Siham is a hard worker and has been demonstrating a strong interest in learning new concepts in cloud computing. She always shows a positive learning attitude and is always ready to try new tasks. Siham has good communication skills and likes to help others.

Fernando Terrones (Nominated by Professor Ping-Wei Tsai)
Fernando has been showing a very positive learning attitude since the first day of semester. He is a quick learner and always pays attention to the lecture with a smile on his face. He asks advance questions and is always ready to take advanced tasks. He has been maintaining the top 1% of the class. In addition, he likes to spend time to help others solve academic problems. Fernando is one of the best student models in my teaching years.

Dagem Worku (Nominated by Professor Ping-Wei Tsai)
Dagem always demonstrates a strong learning motivation in class and asks advanced questions. He also shows interest in engaging in advanced tasks. He works hard and likes to help others solve academic questions. So far, he has been maintaining almost the perfect score in the class.

Outstanding Computer Science Award

Sholom Kott (Nominated by Dr. Ahmed Tarek)
Sholom is respectful, sincere, hardworking and attends all of his classes on time. He has taken multiple courses with me, and I find him to have a very promising future in his academic accomplishments.

Khadija Ndiaye (Nominated by Dr. Ahmed Tarek)
Khadija is attentive and responsive to the classroom discussions. Also, her academic performance is exceptional.

Rui Zhang (Nominated by Dr. Sandro Fouche)
Highlighting her exceptional dedication and work ethic, Rui has not only achieved perfect scores in all CMSC 216 projects – known as the program’s toughest assignments – but she has also managed this feat while juggling the demands of motherhood and her studies. Her ability to balance these responsibilities showcases her incredible drive and dedication, making her a paragon of excellence and resilience within our department. 

Outstanding Engineering Physics Award

Monica Escalante Escobar (Nominated by Dr. Max Nam)
Monica is currently completing the Electrical Engineering Program with an overall GPA 3.86. Monica is an excellent student who has done well in previous engineering physics courses. Despite taking 19 credits in the current semester, Monica continues to excel in PHYS 263. Her work is highly organized and thorough. She interacts well with other students in class and clearly conveys her thought processes in assisting other students. She has a big smile that just brightens the room.

Jinhyung Park (Nominated by Dr. Max Nam)
Jinhyung is currently completing the Fire Protection Engineering Program with an overall GPA of 3.71. Jinhyung is an excellent student who has done well in previous engineering physics courses and continues to do so in PHYS 263. He is very punctual and is very efficient in tackling physics problems. His initiative in the class has benefitted the class as a whole and his genuine desire to learn is evident in his approach to the PHYS 263 curriculum.

Outstanding Sociology Student Award

Francis Dias de los Santos (Nominated by Dr. Naliyah Kaya)
One of the first things I noticed and admire about Francis is that he listens intently to the experiences and opinions of his peers. He genuinely considers varying viewpoints and provides thoughtful responses in a respectful manner. Francis’ contributions to class discussions highlight the importance of considering cultural differences and similarities when discussing sociological concepts. His warm lighthearted spirit contributes to the creation of a positive class environment!

Outstanding Sociology Student Award 

Sophia Hall Levin (Nominated by Dr. Naliyah Kaya)
Sofia’s passion for buttressing the needs and concerns of underrepresented and marginalized communities is evident not only inside the classroom but through her volunteer work in the local community. Sofia quickly grasps sociological concepts and applies them in complex and nuanced ways to current events and personal experiences. She is a pleasure to have as part of the class community!

Grace Kigo (Nominated by Dr. Naliyah Kaya)
Grace is an exemplary example of an engaged citizen. She has repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to the wellbeing of others through observing the needs of her peers and professors and helping in any capacity she can. Grace is conscientious in her research and coursework and will make an incredible addition to the medical community!

Irene Moy (Nominated by Dr. Naliyah Kaya)
Irene's academic prowess extends beyond mere memorization of sociological concepts; she exhibits strong critical analysis of societal structures, cultural phenomena, and social justice issues. Irene embodies intellectual curiosity and has analytical rigor. Irene contributes to meaningful discussions, and I always enjoy reading her posts.

Ingyin Myat (Nominated by Dr. Naliyah Kaya)
Ingyin’s intellectual curiosity is evident in her impressive research and analytical skills. Her work as a curator on the Dear Younger Me installation demonstrated a strong attention to detail and allyship. She is thorough in her assignments and receptive to feedback. We are honored to have her in our dyad!

Sui Sung (Nominated by Dr. Naliyah Kaya)
Sui’s discussion posts bring our online discussion board to life with stories and examples that connect sociological concepts to her experiences. She provides thoughtful in-depth responses to her peers fostering a positive and encouraging class atmosphere. Her digital heritage project explored the cultural significance of the Thihni (a beautiful handmade woman’s skirt), which she also shared with the larger Montgomery College community during a recent fashion show. Sui’s love for learning about others and passion for sharing her culture greatly contribute to the vibrant learning atmosphere at Montgomery College.

Aissatou Bella Thiam (Nominated by Dr. Naliyah Kaya)
Bella is a diligent student who carefully assesses information, making important observations and connections between course concepts and lived experiences. She is a skilled presenter & designer organizing information in a logical and visually pleasing manner. Bella’s compassion is evident in her desire to address important issues, such as anxiety and depression amongst college students, in order to identify ways of providing additional support. Bella is a model student and we are lucky to have her as part of our class!

Honors in Art Award

Andrea Portillo (Nominated by department faculty)
Andrea is a delightful presence in all of her classes. She is thoughtful, and hardworking while being receptive to feedback. She isn't afraid to research and explore different styles. Andrea’s work reflects her time and energy dedicated to the creative process.

Honors in Graphic Design Award

Edison Zheng (Nominated by department faculty)
Edison is a hard-working student who has a solid academic record. He has a tireless work ethic and asks questions that demonstrate a mature mindset. He has a fantastic eye and is able to translate his aesthetic into the digital form. Edison is detail oriented and incredibly pleasant to work with. He is a standout student and has high aspirations of attending MICA.

Honors in Studio Art Award

Alexander Ozga (Nominated by department faculty)
Alexandra is a pleasure to work with as a student. She is a very bright and insightful student, with a personality filled with warmth, kindness, and maturity. In class, she helped to set the standard for the course with her consistent effort, enthusiasm for learning, and her ability to connect with fellow students. She has proven herself willing to go above and beyond by volunteering with the student show, attending off campus class activities, and has served as the art club president over the past two years. Alexandra has consistently been a positive and enthusiastic presence in our department and is undoubtedly going to represent MC well in the years to come.

Xin Ray Penland O’Brien
Xin Ray is just the kind of talented, hardworking student you hope to have in your classes. He works tirelessly in and outside of class on projects, with great attention to detail and a clear vision of his goals. Outside of class, he has volunteered his time to the benefit of many other students with enthusiasm and eagerness, without expectation of reward. He is a thoughtful contributor to class discussions, poses insightful questions, and in doing so, helps set a standard for high expectations among his peers while maintaining a positive, kind attitude.

Collegewide Honors Program

Honor Student of the Year Award

Grace Kigo 
Grace is both a Renaissance Scholar and a STEM Scholar, with 16 credits in honors including honors chemistry, biology, sociology and literature, and she currently holds a 4.0 GPA. She has presented on both hypertension in African American populations, and on Kikuyu creation myths at the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council Conference. In the words of her honors professors, “she approaches each assignment and task with care, respect and thoughtfulness. She participates with passion and consideration, and her work is stellar.” 

Renaissance Scholar of the Year Award

Cooper Rennie 
Cooper is described by his honors professors as inquisitive, enthusiastic, thoughtful, and an excellent writer. He will be graduating with 13 credits of Renaissance Scholars classes and will be continuing his studies in psychology upon transfer. Cooper presented his honors research on Pain in Crustaceans and Societies Perspective on Animal Intelligence at the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council Conference.


Renaissance Scholar Award
  • Beatriz Cerda Salazar
  • Madeleine Clarke
  • Francis Diaz de los Santos
  • Jose Gonzalez
  • Sofia Hall Levin
  • Jany Joseph
  • Yasmine Juhar
  • Salma Kassim
  • Deonte Keitt
  • Grace Kigo
  • Helena Leas
  • Maulika Masson
  • Grace Mejia
  • Ingyin Myat
  • Faith Fru Nchang
  • Nellie Obioha-Va1
  • James Owuor
  • Ashley Ramirez
  • Rodin Javier Ruiz
  • Emma Schenbaum
  • Chlea Simian
  • Elisheva Sukol
  • Nikitta Varghesel
  • Briana Vasquez
  • Morgan Waite
  • Sherese Wells
STEM Scholars Student of the Year Award

Maulika Masson (Nominated by Dr. Kathryn Monzo)
Maulika is a STEM Scholar and a Renaissance Scholar at the TPSS campus. Maulika is an excellent representative of the high academic and personal standards of the STEM Scholars Honors Program. Maulika’s honors projects represent her interests in human health, specifically endocrinology. She investigated how COVID infection affects cardiovascular health as well as the genetics of polycystic ovary syndrome. In addition to exploring her honors course work at deep and insightful levels, Maulika is committed to serving the MC community through her many roles at Montgomery College. She is a dedicated student assistant at the TPSS STEM Learning Center and is a leader in student governance and the PTK Honor Society. Finally, Maulika promoted the MC Honors Community off campus when she presented one of her honors research projects “Pandemic Pressure: COVID and Hypertension” at the Maryland Collegiate Honors Conference this winter.

STEM Ambassador of the Year Award

Yanit Asamnew (Nominated by Nafeesa Azizi)
Yanit is engaged with the STEM Ambassadors community, the MC community, and the local community. They actively volunteer their time to promote STEM education, and they are a role model for fellow Ambassadors, MC students, and community members, while volunteering as an Ambassador.