WCC adds honors program

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Westchester Community College has expanded its Honors offerings to include a new Honors College. The first cohort of eighteen students (the maximum enrollment) was welcomed to the college during a special ceremony on September 6 during which these scholars received new laptops.

The newly created Honors College allows top-performing high school graduates to complete a two-year Honors-Designated Associate Degree in an academically challenging environment. These students will be individually mentored until they graduate and will be encouraged to transfer to renowned four-year universities for two additional years of Bachelor’s Degree studies.

All students are given textbook stipends, the laptops, and full tuition coverage subject to any financial aid that they have received.

Amy Tovar, Sasha Rodriguez, Julia Guyon, Gabriella Liriano, Paula Abila, Juan De Jesus Manzarron Benitez, Brianna Penzo, Isatou Dukureh, Alondra Ochoa, Nancy Elsohafy, Kenneth Sandoval (front row). Fredric Jones, Lucas McCauley, Jamila Desir, Prince Ababio (blue shirt), Daniella Glade, John Kelley (blue tie), Caleb Peddie (back row). Click to expand.

“The opening of this new Honors College has its roots in our strong tradition of academic rigor and student engagement,” said Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President, Westchester Community College, at the ceremony. “This makes Westchester Community College a destination of first choice to many students going on to college. It showcases the college as an institution of high academic quality and standards, and recognizes our faculty who share research and experiences with our students.”

She noted that for many of these students, the two-year degree will be the start of their effort to gain an advanced education as they pursue future degrees and enter careers as professionals in healthcare, law, and other fields.

The Honors College faculty consists of award-winning, exceptionally caring professors. In addition to intellectually engaging courses designed to nurture critical thinking and independent, in-depth exploration of meaningful concepts and current issues, students will enjoy exciting co-curricular opportunities such as participation in summer study abroad at Cambridge University in England and the ability to contribute to academic publications, attend conferences/symposia, complete internships, and take advantage of numerous leadership and applied learning options.

For three decades, Westchester Community College has offered individual Honors classes through its Honors Program. This is the first time it is giving the students the option of a full Honors College (the longstanding Honors Program, which consists of individual classes, will continue to be offered to other students).

The Honors College is funded by the Westchester Community College Foundation through a gift from a generous anonymous donor.

Among the extraordinary students who are in the initial group are Sasha Rodriguez, a member of the Dominican National Karate Team who has her eye on participating in the Olympics; Nancy Elsohafy from Egypt, who wants to study Neuroscience in the future; Julia Guyon, who is interested in becoming an educator and a published writer; Jamila Desir, who intends to become a Civil Rights attorney; and Prince Ababio, a former resident of Ghana who wants to pursue a career in healthcare, focusing on pathology in order to alleviate suffering in Africa.

The full list of Honors College students is:

  • Prince Ababio originally from Ghana, now living in Yonkers, Liberal Arts/Humanities.
  • Paula Abila of Croton-on-Hudson, Liberal Arts/Humanities.
  • Juan De Jesus Manzarron Benitez of White Plains, Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • Jamila Desir of Peekskill, Liberal Arts/Social Science student.
  • Isatou Dukureh, originally from Gambia, now living in the Bronx, Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • Nancy Elsohafy, originally from Egypt, now living in Ossining, Liberal Arts/ Social Science.
  • Daniella Glade of Yonkers, Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • Julia Guyon of Cortland Manor, Liberal Arts/Humanities.
  • Fredric Jones of Peekskill, Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • John Kelley of Mount Kisco, Liberal Arts/Humanities.
  • Gabriella Liriano of Cortland Manor, Liberal Arts/Humanities.
  • Lucas McCauley of Carmel, Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • Alondra Ochoa, originally from Mexico, now living in New Rochelle, Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • Caleb Peddie of Mount Vernon, Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • Brianna Penzo of Amawalk, Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • Sasha Rodriguez of Yonkers,​ Liberal Arts/Social Science.
  • Kenneth Sandoval of Yonkers, Liberal Arts/Humanities.
  • Amy Tovar of Yonkers, Liberal Arts/Humanities.