Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month 

In 1984, Clark Maxwell served as the founding Executive Director for the Florida College System. He led the state’s 28 community colleges until his retirement in 1997. In his honor, The Florida College System created a scholarship fund to assist students attending one of Florida’s colleges with tuition, fees and books. The Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month recognizes outstanding students in the Florida College System who demonstrate leadership skills, academic success and/or commitment to community service. Students are recognized monthly by the Florida College System Chancellor with a $150 scholarship, certificate, and highlighted in the newsletter. 

Nominations

In order to be considered for the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month award, students must be nominated by the Florida College System institution they attend. Nominators must complete and submit the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month Nomination Form (Word, 771KB) to ChancellorFCS@fldoe.org. Nominations may be submitted at any time by college staff, administrators or faculty members.




November 2018


                            Citlali Gutierrez

Citlali Gutierrez is November's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Citlali Gutierrez is a student at Chipola College pursuing a degree in bio-chemistry. With a Hispanic background, she is fluent in both Spanish and English, making her a valuable asset to assisting others at the institution. Coming from a small, rural high school, Gutierrez has excelled academically during her time at Chipola. Gutierrez is active not only at the institution, but in her community as well and dedicates her time to serving others. She is a peer tutor for the college's Academic Center for Excellence and a lab assistant for the microbiology lab. Additionally, she serves as the Phi Theta Kappa Treasurer/Secretary, as well as an active member of both the Science Club and Honors Program.

Gutierrez works part-time jobs on campus while taking some of the most rigorous courses, including Organic Chemistry and Calculus III, and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She has received numerous awards for her academic excellence, including being named the Chipola College Robert E. Ringer Science Award winner for the highest GPA in science and math courses, a Bright Futures Scholarship recipient, and a student researcher for the University of Notre Dame where she spent her summer break working on a project to accurately detect the levels of lead in water in low socioeconomic communities. Most recently, Gutierrez has been working on a school supply drive for an elementary school in Mexico. She expects to graduate in May 2019.


October 2018


  

                            Ian Carter

Ian carter is October's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Since becoming a student at Tallahassee Community College (TCC), Ian Carter has demonstrated persistence and determination as he pursues his degree in computer and information science. Despite being involved in numerous organizations both on and off campus, Carter effectively manages his time and offers to assist his instructors and classmates as well. Recently, Ian was chosen to be featured in a video highlighting his experience in the College's Math Champions Program. Employees at TCC were so impressed with the video that they featured him again in a national presentation on the program.

Carter is a student with great ambition, an important tool to achieving success. Beginning his coursework in developmental math, Carter was never discouraged about the hard work he would need to put forth in order to pursue his degree. Currently, Carter is enrolled in Calculus I and is a member of TCC's STEM program. As a recipient of the STEM Star scholarship program, Carter has been very involved in workshops showcasing computer programming, such as python, robotics and 3-D printers. In an effort to recognize his academic achievement, Carter was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which provides students with opportunities to grow as scholars and leaders. In addition, Carter was selected to be a Math Champion student tutor, a peer-to-peer tutoring program at TCC. He has made the president's and dean's list and currently holds a 3.50 GPA. Carter is expected to graduate with his degree fall 2018.

September 2018


  

                            Jennifer Ojeda

Jennifer Ojeda is September's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Twenty-three years after graduating high school, Jennifer Ojeda has returned to further her postsecondary education at Pensacola State College (PSC). Ojeda is a senior at PSC pursuing a bachelor's degree in human resource management. Ojeda's passion for helping and serving others led her to decide to seek a career path in human resources. She feels there could be no greater reward in life than to help others achieve their own passions and dreams.

Ojeda's strengths include facilitating classes formed around development and inspirational growth principles. She makes a point of constantly gathering, organizing and sharing necessary information that is essential to her role as manager at Honey Baked Ham.

In 2017, Ojeda completed her Associate in Science in Business Administration at PSC, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She matriculated directly into PSC's human resource focus of the Bachelors of Arts in Business where she maintained a 4.0 GPA. Ojeda was recently inducted into Sigma Beta Delta, the National Honor Society recognizing strong academic achievement in business, management and administration. She is also enrolled in the Robinson Honors Program at PSC. Just recently, Ojeda went on a leadership and service-learning trip to Puerto Rico with several of her peers in the Honors Program. Not only is Ojeda involved in numerous organizations on campus, but she is also deeply rooted in her community, volunteering in various capacities. Her drive motivates her to make a difference at home, her job and at school.

August 2018


 

                        Albert D. Hernandez

Albert D. Hernandez is August's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

After graduating high school in Colombia at the age of 16, Albert D. Hernandez continued his studies at the National University of Colombia as a civil engineering student. There, Hernandez developed a research project that sought to improve the public transportation for people with disabilities. The project's success, as well as the public's interest in the topic, gained attention from local newspapers, and multiple outlets wrote articles about it. Hernandez, alongside his team, earned multiple recognitions for the project. Continuing to strive for success, Hernandez decided to challenge himself a little further. In April 2016, he moved to the United States to pursue a better education and is currently a student at Miami Dade College (MDC) pursuing a degree in civil engineering.

Hernandez has shown leadership not only through his academics, but also through community service and school organizations. When Hernandez was in high school, he joined the basketball team and soon after became captain going on to win four championships. At MDC, Hernandez expanded his leadership capabilities by becoming president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and director of membership in Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), a national organization devoted to developing competent leaders. All while completing more than 100 hours of service learning and attending the Salzburg Global Seminar on Anti-Globalization in March 2018, Hernandez maintained an impressive 3.96 GPA. He also earned first place in the June PBL National Competitions of Financial Analysis and Decision Making. In addition to the time he has dedicated to serving his community and his drive for academic success, Hernandez serves as an ambassador for human rights. In recognition of his commitment to his community, Hernandez won the President's Volunteer Service Award and received a certificate and congratulatory letter from the president of the United States.

July 2018


  

                            Zoya Thomas 

Zoya Thomas is July's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Zoya Thomas is a student at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) pursuing an Associate in Science degree in Early Childhood Education Management who inspires other students through her academic work and service to the community. Thomas serves as the vice president of the FSCJ Early Childhood Education Club where she has been present in all club activities, including building the website and participating in various community services. She has been looked up to as a role model by her peers while serving as club vice president. Apart from being an excellent leader in her community, Thomas excels academically, submitting her assignments in a timely manner and going above and beyond what is requested by her professors. Thomas connects content produced for her assignments to the field of early childhood education in a scholarly level, representing the knowledge she has obtained throughout her postsecondary education experience that will help her excel in the workforce. Thomas is expected to graduate this upcoming fall semester.

June 2018


  

                            Michael Kutsner

Michael Kutsner is June's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Michael Kutsner is a student at Indian River State College (IRSC) pursuing an Associate in Science degree in Medical Lab Technology. Kutsner is passionate about continuing his education, but his educational journey has not always been easy. In grade school, Kutsner struggled academically, failing the second grade and experiencing personal hardship. During this time in his life, Kutsner's teacher introduced him to an IRSC employee who became his mentor. As a result, Kutsner enrolled in an IRSC retention program that exposed students to college for the first time. Kutsner began his postsecondary education career at IRSC in the high school program, earning his GED.

While enrolled in the GED program, Kutsner met his wife, Autumn, who was taking classes in the adult high school. Kutsner and his wife agreed to "switch off" work and school. While Autumn enrolled in the Respiratory Therapy program, Kutsner chose to pursue a career in the military. Last year, Autumn graduated from IRSC's respiratory program, allowing Kutsner the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a Medical Lab Technologist.

Kutsner is not only passionate about pursuing his dream of becoming a Medical Lab Technologist, but is also focused on what can be done to better society. During times of disaster, Kutsner made sacrifices in his life to assist others in need. Kutsner is part of the Florida National Army Guard and was on the front lines with his guard unit protecting his community after Hurricanes Matthew and Irma. He delivered supplies to those in need throughout Florida, helping our state recover from the hurricanes' impact.

"While many Floridians and vacationers were evacuating areas in Hurricane Irma's path, you were moving in the opposite direction into harm's way," said Major General of the Florida National Guard Michael Calhoun. "Your commitment, compassion and demonstrated teamwork contributed directly to the success of the largest activation of Guardsmen in our state's history."

May 2018


  

                               Emily Steele

Mary Steele is May's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

St. Johns River State College student Mary Steele recently graduated with an Associate in Science degree in Radiologic Technology. Throughout her college career, Steele not only demonstrated exceptional leadership and consideration for others, but has persevered through her program with excellent grades despite experiencing personal loss.

Prior to starting the radiologic program at SJR State, Steele had been an active Student Government Association member, raising money for various community causes and assisting with as many school-sponsored events as she could. She then rose to the position of treasurer. However, Steele chose to throw in her hat for her role of Radiology Club Vice President and class president, moving on to be club president as approved by her classmates. In these roles, Steele motivated her classmates to become active in fundraising and assisting with school events. She gave her all into organizing the student pinning ceremony, securing funding from the student government association, raising money and securing donations for appreciation plaques and technologist awards for clinical sites.

Steele experienced several devastating events during her time in the program. Her son was in a serious car accident and a close family member was killed. These events and others left her family in desperate financial circumstances. While these events may have broken someone else, Steele chose to persevere and continue through the program while maintaining outstanding grades, working part-time to help support her family and taking into consideration the needs of others. Steele has demonstrated the qualities of an exceptional student and great leader.

April 2018


  

                               Emily Brock

Emily Brock is April's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Emily Brock is a sophomore at Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) pursuing an Associate in Arts degree. Brock is a leader in both her school and community through her involvement in various organizations. She is president of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), a national, state and local business organization for students interested in business, where she hosted a dodgeball tournament in which all proceeds went to a local women's shelter. In July 2017, Brock attended the Institute for Leadership Conference and Nationals PBL Conference in California where she placed in the top 10 in Small Business Management Plan.

Brock is also a member of Student Government Association and Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society. She volunteers at a youth shelter where she conducts various therapeutic activities. Brock is a peer mentor and student worker at PHSC. Not only has Brock shown her leadership at PHSC, but she has also served as the co-chairperson of the marketing committee at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast and is currently the communications intern at the United Nations of Tampa Bay.

Additionally, Brock attended the Global Engagement Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. She is a champion for the 'Nothing But Nets' project, a United Nations affiliated organization dedicated to raising funds to eliminate malaria. In late March, Brock attended the 'Nothing But Nets' summit in Washington D.C. and will also be attending the United Nation Association National Summit in June.

Among all of her accomplishments, Brock also volunteered at an event that helped raise more than $300,000 for those affected by the genocide in Myanmar. Brock has and continues to serve as a leader and positive example in both her community and among her peers at PHSC.

March 2018


  

                       Danielle Granderson

Danielle Granderson is March's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Danielle Granderson is well on her way to pursuing her Associate in Science in Nursing degree at Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW). She successfully balances the demands of the nursing program with her many campus activities, which include Phi Theta Kappa, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Student Government Association and the Book Club. On the surface, such campus involvement may seem natural, but they are the result of Granderson overcoming the personal challenges of understanding who she is versus who she must be. Her own high expectations led to seclusion, depression, and suicidal thoughts, which she suffered in silence. That began to change for the better thanks to her involvement in campus activities, where Granderson has grown as a leader, and, she says, as a person.

Although her parents chose FSW, she appreciates their decision because it has opened new doors for her. After Granderson earns her A.S. in Nursing, she plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and then a Master of Science in Nursing Education. She is also pursuing another passion: Korean literacy, and her love of Asian language and culture. She believes in the power of positivity and shares that with her classmates every day.

February 2018


  

                               Sara Varela

Sara Valera is February's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Sara will graduate this May with her A.S degree in Film Production at Broward College. She has worked at The Observer, the college newspaper, for the past three years and has been the Editor-in-chief for the past two. She has won three writing awards, including First place for Best General Column at the Florida College System Publication Associations student awards in 2017. In the summer of 2017, she participated in the POLITICO Journalism Institute, where she produced, shot and edited a 2-minutes video and a 500-words article published by POLITICO.com. She became the first community college student to be chosen for the prestigious program.

January 2018


  

John Markham 

John Markham is January's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

John Markham is a student at Daytona State College (DSC) pursuing an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree. Markham is a leader in emergency preparedness programs and activities, is an Eagle Scout, and has served on the FEMA Emergency Council. Additionally, Markham serves his community through volunteering for the W.T. Bland Library in Mount Dora, participating in conservation-related projects at Camp LeNoche, and assisting with a landscaping service project at Camp Challenge. Markham earned the James M. Stewart Citizenship Award for exemplifying characteristics necessary to live the life of a good citizen.

Markham currently has a 4.0 GPA at DSC. After earning his A.A. degree, Markham plans on transferring to the University of Central Florida to complete his pre-med program and medical school training. Markham plans on becoming a medical doctor serving the healthcare needs of Floridians. Demonstrating his commitment to help better the community, Markham has mentored other students with the development of their writing and math skills.

Not only does he help through his mentoring services but also has shown to be a youth leader outside of the classroom. Markham has raised awareness for emergency preparedness in Lake County and developed a countywide emergency preparedness awareness program that involved delivering speeches to community leaders and developing a social media campaign. He has inspired and motivated other youth to also serve in the community.

December 2017


 

Estefany Rivas Ortiz 

Estefany Rivas Ortiz is December's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Estefany Rivas Ortiz is a student at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) pursuing a degree in pre-med. Rivas Ortiz is an international student from South America, raised in Cali, Colombia. Rivas Ortiz remembers family members facing hardships in Colombia and her father deciding to leave the country for a better life in the United States. After migrating to Tampa, Florida, her sister was soon diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Rivas Ortiz is convinced that her sister would have died without access to the medical care available here, resulting in her professional goal of becoming an oncologist. She was inspired by the doctors and health care professionals that she met while her sister was being treated.

Rivas Ortiz has overcome adversity in her life to become a leader in the HCC community. Rivas Ortiz graduated from Leto High School with a 4.3 GPA after starting her American high school experience in the 11th grade. She did not speak English, which made it difficult as she acclimated to a new culture and language. However, Rivas Ortiz did not let these barriers get in the way of her success, as shown through her academic success. She currently maintains a GPA of 3.89 at HCC and is the President of the Phi Theta Kappa's Dale Mabry Campus Chapter "Phi Chi." She is also the Vice President of Scholarship for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, as well as an honors ambassador for the HCC Honors Institute. Additionally, Rivas Ortiz was recognized by the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, a premier honors program for over 1,000 universities and colleges across the country. She is consistently on the Dean's List and has been awarded the Presidential Honors Scholarship, which granted her $1,200 to help pay for her schooling. Most recently, she helped organize and direct a scholarly exchange program called the "Celebration of Water" that brought 20 students from the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam to HCC and the Tampa Bay area.

Rivas Ortiz is not only active within HCC, but is also active in the community. She works with two assisted living facilities as part of service projects and regularly participates in other charitable events, such as walks for diabetes. Lastly, Rivas Ortiz was one of the student leaders of the 2016 International Festival at HCC, as well as a volunteer for the Asian Festival held each year in downtown Tampa.

November 2017


 

Micheal Rooney 

Micheal Rooney is November's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Michael Rooney is a veteran of the Army who is now a student at Florida Gateway College. Rooney served in the Iraq conflict and earned a campaign medal and an army achievement medal, as well as other awards. Rooney is pursuing an Associate in Science degree in Nursing and would eventually like to become a physician's assistant. This year, Rooney has taken six courses and stands out among his peers by having some of the highest grades within his class.

Rooney has proven to be a leader in his classes by participating and explaining complex ideas disussed to his peers. Rooney manages to stay successful in his classes despite being called into military service to assist with recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma earlier this year. As a medic in the Army, Rooney was vital in emergency operations conducted immediately after the storm. Upon his return, Rooney demonstrated his resilience and dedication to obtaining an education by arriving prepared for class and performing well on his assignments. According to his professor, Dr. Juan Guzman, Rooney continues to provide a great example among students, faculty and staff he meets.

The Florida College System thanks Rooney for his service to our country, to his fellow comrades and for his dedication to continuously learning, excelling in his studies and ensuring he obtains a higher education.

October 2017


  

Candy Day 

Candy Day is October's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Candy Day is a full-time Computer Science student at Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) finishing her Associates in Science degree in Civil Engineering Technology while working on her Associates in Arts for Computer Science as well. Day was born in Chile and grew up in London. Moving to the United States and pursuing an education has led her to endure many challenges including learning how the U.S. education system works, understanding the meaning of a GPA and how to maintain it at a high level. Currently, Day has a 3.45 GPA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa organization, an official international honor society of two-year colleges.

Day is well-known by both her peers and instructors for her hard work and outstanding leadership skills at the college. In May 2017, Day was awarded the "Bob McSpadden Outstanding Student Leadership" award by her peers. Day is the co-founder and vice president of the Ripples of Change Club at GCSC, a non-profit humanitarian student club. The club's latest project involves the construction of a tiny house for the less fortunate veterans in the community. Among the other club members, Day has designed and 3D printed prototypes of a tiny house village and has constructed plans for a Disaster Relief Unit (DRU). GCSC's Ripples of Change Club won the "Outstanding Student Organization" award and its DRU took third place at the GCSC Startup Weekend, a community event for entrepreneurs, developers, designers, artists and others to pitch ideas and learn the skills needed to launch a business. Additionally, Day has served as president of GCSC's Spanish club and volunteers at club events.

Day not only strives to better herself, but aims to help others better themselves through her volunteer e fforts. Day has worked with Habitat for Humanity to help build a home for a family in need, volunteered at the Panama City Rescue Mission to help build a sustainable garden and recently volunteered at the Red Cross as a shelter administrator to help those in need due to Hurricane Irma. Many of these volunteer efforts have gained coverage through local media outlets. Recently, Governor Rick Scott recognized Day with the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award at the Governor's Mansion for strengthening our state with significant and meaningful service.

Through Day's leadership, she hopes to influence her family to be better people and show them that with the proper time management skills, there is always time to influence others or be influenced without considering race or gender.

September 2017


  

Mario Fajardo 

Mario Fajardo is September's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Mario Fajardo is a recruit from the Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) Institute for Public Safety's part-time Upper Keys Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) Academy #63 obtaining a College Credit Certificate. The College Credit Certificate is a series of college-credit courses that prepares students for entry-level employment in certain career fields or for career advancement. FKCC's BLE program satisfies the training requirements of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Once cadets pass the state certification exam, they will be eligible to become Florida Law Enforcement Officers.

Recruit Fajardo has extensive computer knowledge including experience in computer networking design, support and integration. However, Fajardo decided to make a career change to help provide a positive impact in our society by becoming an officer. Ultimately, Fajardo's career goals are to work for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office within Marine Patrol, School Officer and eventually move up within the ranks. Fajardo would like to become an instructor to train future recruits hoping to become law enforcement officers.

Since the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma to the Florida Keys, recruits from the BLE Academies have shown great support through volunteering their time throughout the community in hopes to recover and rebuild.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Nancy Alvarez from the Upper Keys said, "Without a doubt, Mario Fajardo, a recruit from the part-time Upper Keys BLE #63 academy, has put in so many hours and assisted with hurricane duty and doing any task asked of him. He has displayed the attributes of a team player and goes above and beyond the call of duty no matter what the task is."

Recruits like Fajardo play a critical role in serving as examples of individuals who will help build and maintain positive relationships between the community and law enforcement. Individuals who worked tirelessly throughout the storm to ensure the safety and well-being of Floridians who have been impacted serve not only as community leaders but as beacons of hope and light during hardships.

August 2017


  

Maria Garcia Cardenas 

Maria Garcia Cardenas is August's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Maria Garcia Cardenas is in her first year studying Pre-Nursing at Miami Dade College (MDC). Cardenas moved to the United States from Cuba and began her first semester at MDC just after four months in the country. During her time at MDC, Cardenas has volunteered for the New American's Campaign Citizenship Clinic, which aims to assist people applying for their United States citizenship. Additionally, she obtained a part-time job where her mission is to assist others just like her who have an opportunity to pursue an education to be prepared to enter the workforce.

Cardenas has also been a member in the TRIO-Educational Opportunity Center (TRIO EOC) program, a federally funded educational program designed to afford the opportunity of a college education to families without a legacy of higher education. She entered the program after only a few days of entering the U.S. After receiving services from TRIO EOC and enrolling in classes at MDC, she applied to be a student assistant for the TRIO EOC program as well. Cardenas expressed that she chose to become an assistant to learn more about the American education system and help individuals like herself looking for postsecondary opportunities. Since then, Cardenas has received all A's in her classes while balancing work and school, as well as adapting to a new country while pursuing her higher education goals.

July 2017


  

Reggie Howard

Reggie Howard is July's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Reggie Howard is in his second year studying Pre-Pharmacy at Santa Fe College (SF). He dedicates his time to his academics and serves as a college representative through campus tours, as well as through college and community events. Howard was named Legacy Project Chair and demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in helping to plan, develop and execute a 5K, which was this year's Legacy Project at SF. Through this project, Howard led the team in raising more than $2,000 in scholarship funds for the college's Finish at the Top program. This is a program for students who are missing only a few credits to complete their degree and graduate but are not able to afford it due to exhausting their financial aid. Howard helped pave a way for these students to be granted the opportunity to complete their program. Additionally, he led a student-driven campaign that raised more than $1,000 for the American Cancer Society, as well as helped raise more than $1,000 for Meridian Behavioral Healthcare in Gainesville.

As a result of Howard's leadership, commitment and willingness to help those in need, he was named the 2016-2017 Ambassador of the Year. He has demonstrated success not only in the classroom but in the community at large.

June 2017


Gonzalo Gutierrez

 Gonzalo Gutierrez

Gonzalo Gutierrez is June's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Gutierrez is a first-generation Mexican-American student with big dreams. Gutierrez began at Polk State College (PSC) in 2013, as a student at Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School. Two years later, he graduated with both his high school diploma and Associate in Arts degree. Now, he is studying toward his Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management degree, with a concentration in Business Administration. After graduating from PSC, he plans to pursue a master's degree and ultimately open his own business selling nutritional supplements. Currently, he serves as the President of the Winter Haven Student Government Association where he is a tireless advocate for PSC students and the greater Polk County community.

"We are so proud of Gonzalo and all that he has accomplished," said PSC President, Dr. Eileen Holden. "Gonzalo has represented the College during trips to the State Capitol, and has impressed me with his ability to present the students' position on legislative issues to state legislators. His enthusiasm and passion for the College is infectious, and he has been an exemplary representative for Polk State College. Gonzalo consistently exceeds expectations and has the drive to achieve his goals through education and service to his community."

Gonzalo Gutierrez, has been named a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow. Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 273 students who will make up the organization's 2017 cohort of Fellows.



May 2017


  

Claire Jolicoeur

Claire Jolicoeur is May's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

An exceptional dual-enrollment student at North Florida Community College (NFCC), Claire dedicated her time to her academics, leadership positions and giving back to her community, and she hasn't gone unrecognized for it. She was named NFCC's 2017 Student of the Year.

Claire was selected for the honor due to her many accomplishments and commitments. She graduated from NFCC this month with her Associates in Arts at the same time she graduated from her high school with a 4.0 GPA. While at NFCC she served as the PTK Mu-Xi Chapter President and was recognized last month at our All-Florida Academic Team award ceremony. Even with her dedication to her academics, she finds time to give back to her community and to her school as a member of the Save Our Animal Resources (SOAR) ecology club and as a student assistant in NFCC's Science Department.

Along with earning the prestigious Student of the Year award, she was also named both the NFCC 2016-2017 Outstanding Student of the Year for Microbiology and the NFCC 2016-2017 Outstanding Student of the Year for PTK in April.

April 2017


  

Tawanda Brown

Tawanda Brown is the April Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

A student at Northwest Florida State College (NWF), Tawanda is studying to receive her Bachelor's of Science in Early Childhood Education and is graduating at the end of this semester. She started her education at NWF in order to receive the necessary certifications to open an in-home daycare facility, but was encouraged by professors to continue seeking her degree. The wife and mother of four was successful in her quest and now owns and operates a family childcare center from her home.

She states, "My education received at NWF has has a positive effect not only on my life but those lives of the children and families I work with daily in my classroom. I truly believe the benefits will be felt and experienced for generations to come."

In her spare time Tawanda also acts as a mentor to local childcare providers and has received an award from the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children. She is also a SkillsUSA competitor and winner. Their website describes the SkillsUSA Championships as "competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels." In 2016, she won the NWF competition, moved on to win the regional competition in Pensacola, won again at the state competition in Lakeland, and was the first NWF student to win the Gold Medal at the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, KY.

It's the ambitious heart and soul of students like Tawanda who contribute to making the Florida College System the best in the nation.

March 2017


  

Ross Serrano

Ross Serrano has been selected as the March Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month. 

Ross is a non-traditional and first generation student at Broward College studying to receive his Associates in Science degree in Graphic Design.

Ross' story starts in the country of Mexico where he was born and raised. Due to his LGBTQ identity, he lived in peril and fear and without the support of his family. Determined he could lead a better life in the United States, Ross came to America by himself as an adult. Though he immigrated legally, he did so without the backing of friends and family and faced many hardships as a result.

In the United States, Ross was homeless and working any and every job he could to fulfill his dream: to go to college. He's not only succeeded, but he's excelled. Set to graduate in December of 2018, Ross hold a perfect 4.0 GPA and has a part-time job.

He's a student in Broward College's elite Robert "Bob" Elmore Honors College and a leader as the president of the Downtown Campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Talented not only in academic but also in art, Ross found his passion in the high-demand field of Graphic Design. He belongs to the American Institute of Arts and has been recognized for his talents. His piece won first place in the Broward College Art Fest.

Ross has lived two lives: one in Mexico and one in America; one where he lived in fear and one where he has prospered. Not many people would have the courage to take such drastic measures to essentially start their lives over in pursuit of their dreams. Despite the adversity he's faced, his peers and colleagues describe him as kind-hearted, empathetic and "simpatico," always conscious of how he can better life for others and himself.

February 2017


  

Ania Bang

Ania Bang has been selected as Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

Ania is a student at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) studying in their rigorous and competitive Physical Therapy Assistant program. Over 100 applicants vie for a prized spot in the program with only 30 slots available a year. Ania applied as the academically top-ranking student.

She continues to excel in her studies and is currently tied for first in her class. She also aims  Along with her help her fellow peers succeed. The Instructional Program Manager, Dr. Sean McClafferty, claims she goes "above and beyond" during study groups.

Also an active member of the community, Ania has one of the highest amounts of volunteer hours at FSCJ's newly-opened pro bono clinic. She is a leader in her Service Learning and Community Outreach programs throughout Jacksonville and St. Augustine, as well as among her classmates at FSCJ.   


January 2017


  

Brenda Killings

Brenda Killings has been selected as the January 2017 Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month

Ms. Killings graduated as a Registered Nurse last semester and is pursing a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing at Chipola College. While working full time supporting three children and a disabled husband she's an inspiration to others in her community. Despite numerous hardships that could have altered her high education goals, she continues to work tirelessly to pursue a better lifestyle for her herself and her family.

"Chipola College doesn't see race, color or age of a student," stated Killings. "They are colorblind to everything but helping you succeed in school. The College has helped me every step even when I was ready to give up, they never gave up on me. 


November 2016


  Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Student of the Month for November, Desirae Binney

Desirae Binney

Desirae Binney has been selected as the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month for November.



December 2016


  

Troy Ohler

Troy Ohler will graduate with his Associate in Science degree in Computer Information Technology in May and will then enroll in the Bachelor's degree program in Cyber Security at Indian River State College.

Troy's career as an electrical foreman was cut short when he was in a motorcycle accident. Due to his injuries, he was faced with the challenge of preparing for a new career while wheelchair bound. He enrolled in classes full-time and earned a GPA of 3.83; he was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society as a result of his academic achievement. He is looking forward to a new career in information technology and cyber security and says, "The education I'm receiving at IRSC is helping me become self-sufficient again." 

Troy was recognized by Commissioner Pam Stewart and Chancellor Madeline Pumariega at the State Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. 

November 2016


  

Desirae Binney

Desirae Binney is completing her Associates in Arts degree with an emphasis in STEM courses at Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC).

Desirae was accepted into the dental assisting program at PHSC before finding her passion in aerospace. This interest was born out of NASA's Community College Aerospace Scholar program, or NCAS. Desirae received a scholarship to participate in the five-week online course. Not only did she learn more about NASA's operations during the five weeks, but she also planned a robotic rover mission to Mars.

After she completed the course, she was selected as one of the students to attend a workshop at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Port Canaveral due to her success in the program. The workshop, held at the end of October, was an opportunity for her to gain hands-on experience in the work and details that go into planning the missions to space.

Upon obtaining her AA degree at PHSC, Desirae plans to study aerospace engineering or astrophysics at the university level. Haley Hall has been selected as the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month for August.

November 2016


  Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Student of the Month for November, Desirae Binney

Desirae Binney

Desirae Binney has been selected as the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month for November.



October 2016


  Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Student of the Month for October, Srebrina Bangova
                  Srebrina Bangova

Srebrina Bangova has been selected as the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month for October.

Srebrina is pursing an Associates in Arts degree at St. Petersburg College (SPC) and plans to pursue a career in engineering. Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Srebrina speaks and writes in multiple languages.

An honors student, she has demonstrated high academic standing with a perfect 4.0 GPA and as a committed and involved member of SPC's Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She also serves as a campus representative to the Honors Student Consortium on campus.

Along with her commitment to her education and her extracurricular responsibilities, Srebrina also works in SPC's College Accessibility department, where she serves and assists students who may need help to succeed.



September 2016


 Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Student of the Month for August, Haley Hall

Haley Hall

Haley Hall has been selected as the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month for August.

Haley is a student at Tallahassee Community College (TCC) pursuing an Associate in Arts degree.

Since starting at TCC, Haley has been a part of their Connect2Complete Peer Leader program which offers students an opportunity to mentor and support their fellow students through the transition into college. Her first semester with the program she ensured students in the class she worked with were aware of the many resources TCC offers to help students succeed. In her next semester with the program, she worked as a peer leader for the college's Student Leadership, Involvement and Civic Engagement (SLICE) office. When her semester was up, the SLICE office offered her a paid part-time program position. In this position, she helped coordinate the Peer Leader program itself, along with on-campus service projects. Now Haley assists with leadership training, new student orientation, and much more.

Even with these commitments, Haley still finds time to volunteer as the student representative on multiple standing committees and for the coordination, set-up and tear-down of special events, like TCC'S MLK Day of Service.

When Haley graduates with her AA this fall, she plans to enroll in a bachelor's degree program for exercise science, and she will be the first in her immediate family to graduate college.


August 2016


  Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Student of the Month for August, Angelica Argueta

                 Angelica Argueta

Angelica Argueta has been selected as the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month for August.

Angelica is a recent graduate and employee at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) who studied to become a registered nurse. At FSCJ she works with the Foreign Language Lab as a tutor. She assists students in subjects such as Spanish and French and with meeting their required lab time. She is also a leader in the Foreign Language Lab as she mentor and assists other tutors on how to help their students successfully reach their potential.

Angelica is also an active member in her community. She volunteers at a variety of local outlets in need, such as a free clinic, the YMCA rehab center, a community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a nursing home and an elementary school.

The Student of the Month receives a $150 scholarship from the Florida College System Foundation and is featured on the FCS website and social media accounts. Visit our website for more information and to find the nomination form (Word, 47KB).



July 2016


  Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Student of the Month for July, Alejandro Silva

                Alejandro Silva

Alejandro Silva has been selected as the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month for July.

Alejandro is pursuing an associates in arts degree in a pathway program to Mass Communications at Miami Dade College. He dedicates most of his free time to serving his campus and his community. He is most passionate about serving the North Campus Food Pantry for Students, and by advocating for greater awareness about the hardships food-insecure students face, Alejandro has helped bring 100 pounds of food donations to the North Campus Food Pantry.

He contributes more than 250 community service hours in an academic year, and his efforts haven't gone unrecognized. Alejandro was a recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award at the Gold Level for his commitment to service.

When Alejandro isn't volunteering, he's a leader on campus. Miami Dade College's Marketing and Communications Association held a Mix and Mingle featuring specialists from career fields ranging from medicine to film production to education. The event, coordinated and led by Alejandro, brought together a panel of professionals in order to share their unique experiences and career advice with students. He also led a networking session in an effort to offer students a valuable connection on their career pathways.



June 2016


  Jamie Weaver

                  Jamie Weaver

Jamie Weaver is Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month for June.

Jamie is a Health Information Technology student working toward an Associate of Science degree from Florida Gateway College (FGC). Jamie is an active leader on her campus and in her community. She serves FGC as the Legislative Liaison for the Student Government Association and represents her fellow students on several campus committees including Campus Appeals Board, Facilities Committee, Financial Aid Committee and Textbook Committee.

Jamie also finds time to dedicate herself to helping her community by volunteering for causes she cares about, such as the Girl Scouts, a local soup kitchen, and the Salvation Army. She also launched an initiative to collect over 150 blankets and jackets for the homeless in her community.

Jamie's greatest commitment and most important role, however, is that of a single mom to her daughter, Lexi, and a care-giver to her aging parents. Jamie is able to balance leadership positions and duties, volunteering, and hardest of all, motherhood, while still achieving academic excellence at Florida Gateway College.



May 2016


  Pedro Borba

                     Pedro Borba

Pedro Borba has been selected as this month's Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.
Pedro is pursuing an Associate of Science degree in Electrical Power Technology at Palm Beach State College (PBSC). Pedro secured an internship with Sikorsky Development Flight Center as an Instrumentation intern which has allowed him to put many of the skills he has acquired through his academic program into practice. His excellent performance during his time there resulted in a full-time position at the Center at the conclusion of his internship.

He earned a 4.0 GPA during both semesters of his internship while being a full-time student. Pedro was asked to be a supplemental instructor for one of the program courses. In this role he assisted fellow students with exercises and tutoring on course content throughout the semester. In addition to his formal role, he has volunteered his personal time to hold informal tutoring sessions on Saturdays.

Pedro came to the United States from Brazil in 2006 near the end of his high school career. He credits his current success to his experience at PBSC. His future academic goals include continuing his education by pursuing a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and one day becoming a flight technician or instrument engineer.



April 2016


  Shariar 'Shawn' Zamani
          Shariar "Shawn" Zamani

Shahriar "Shawn" Zamani from Hillsborough Community College (HCC) has been selected as the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month!
Shawn is a part of HCC's Honors Institute pursing his Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and is graduating later this year. He stands as an Ambassador for the Honors Institute and the President of Phi Beta Lambda, a student organization that focuses on fostering an ideology of service, scholarship and professionalism. Shawn has certainly proved his dedication to all three. He works as a certified undergraduate tutor, and in his free time he volunteers in the pharmacy at Florida Hospital and offers tax consultations through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant program. He's also committed time to organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger.

Shawn's hard work and dedication has received well-deserved recognition. He was recently named a part of Phi Theta Kappa's 2016 All-Florida Academic Team, which selects students based on their high academic standing, their dedication to service and their leadership roles. Even more recently, Shawn was one of three students selected from Florida, and one out of only 20 chosen nationally, to be a part of Phi Theta Kappa's 2016 All-USA Community College Academic Team.

Shawn plans to continue his education with a degree in Public Health, and then hopes to continue on to medical school.



March 2016


  Brittany Hockey

                    Brittany Hockey

Brittany Hockey from Pensacola State College (PSC) is the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month. Brittany is an honors student pursing an Associate of Arts Degree in Social Work at PSC, and she has dedicated much of her college career to serving others, especially military personnel and veterans.

To date, Brittany has completed more than 545 hours of volunteer activities. Some of these service hours include tutoring active duty military students at PSC, volunteering at the Fisher House Foundation, co-organizing for the Naval Air Station Pensacola Children's and Community holiday parties, and organizing volunteer events as the Phi Theta Kappa Vice-President of Leadership.

Brittany is also passionate about how leadership can make an impact at her school and in her community. Brittany stands as the Student Government Association (SGA) Volunteer Committee Co-Chair, helping to coordinate events such as the Manna Food Drives, Day of Caring with United Way, the Movies and Board Game Drive for Sacred Heart Hospital and PSC's Day of Caring at Solaris Healthcare. She's also attended several leadership seminars, including SGA Regional Leadership at Tallahassee Community College and Student Veterans Association National Conference Leadership and Engagement workshops, in an effort to expand her influential finesse. Despite her numerous commitments, Brittany still finds time to research the bee population in surrounding counties, and she has maintained a 3.92 GPA.

"With her leadership skills and giving heart, Brittany inspires and unites others in her causes," said PSC Marketing Director, Sheila Nichols.
She plans to use her service and leadership experiences and skills as she pursues a career in social work, hoping to specialize in aiding active duty military personnel and veterans.



February 2016


  Sean Bennett

                    Sean Bennett

Chancellor Pumariega has selected Sean Bennett from Indian River State College as the Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month. Sean Bennett’s career with IRSC began when he was a high school student. He dual-enrolled at the college in order to receive his Associate’s degree in Medical Lab Technology by 2015.

Now, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology to achieve his dream of attending medical school and becoming an emergency room doctor. His hard work and academic strides have not gone without recognition. He was acknowledged by Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, an exclusive honor conferred by universities and colleges nationwide. Bennett also won a scholarship for 2014-2015 from Siemens-ASCP for Laboratory Professionals. This scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence and promise in laboratory medicine.

Bennett has certainly shown dedication in the field. Since 2015, he has worked full time at the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, the area’s premier Level II Trauma Center, as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. His service to the community does not end there. On campus, Bennett serves as the Vice President for both the Take Stock in Children and Medical Laboratory Technology Clubs. He is also involved in his church community, volunteering as the Youth Leadership Counselor and the Church Radio Operations Manager, along with continuing his efforts to start an Adventist Campus Ministry at IRSC.
With his service and leadership on campus and in the community, and his academic successes, Sean Bennett exemplifies the qualities deserving of the Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month.

January 2016


  Austin Albro

Austin Albro

Austin Albro is the first recipient of the Chancellor’s Clark Maxwell Jr. Scholar Student of the Month award. Austin is a senior honors student at Daytona State College pursuing his Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Marketing. Throughout his college career, Austin has demonstrated exemplary leadership, academic success, and service to his community. His greatest role on campus is serving as president of the Student Government Association. "He embraces diversity and views change as an opportunity for growth, contributing to one of the most active and inviting atmospheres the association has seen," said Bruce Cook, Assistant Dean at Daytona State. "As SGA president Austin keeps in contact with all student organizations, as well as the athletic teams, and meets regularly with Daytona State’s administrators."  

He has been recognized on campus for starting “Talk About it Tuesday” in the college’s courtyard. The informal weekly gatherings encourage productive conversations and dialogues among students on campus. Austin is not only nourishing a healthy environment on campus. In his free time, he participates in a variety of engaging community service programs in the Daytona area. He has been involved in food and clothing drives, support and recognition activities for veterans, and culturally enriching events throughout the city. He has actively worked with organizations like the Easter Seals, One Voice Volusia, and the 4 The Kids Foundation. Earlier this month, Austin moderated Daytona State’s Student Homelessness Summit, which hosted local agencies, non-profits, and former students as guest speakers.

Austin received a scholarship of a $150 for his outstanding work both on and off campus. Throughout his scholastic career, and despite his numerous commitments, Austin Albro has maintained his honors GPA. He is expecting to graduate in May of 2016 and truly believes that you can achieve anything with hard work and a positive attitude. Austin finds enrichment through encouraging and empowering others to strive to be the best versions of themselves.

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