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Students honored with awards, scholarships

May 27, 2011

Several Community College of Rhode Island students were honored with scholarships and awards last week during a student awards luncheon at the Knight Campus in Warwick.

Kiley Brillhart receives her award.Kiley Brillhart of Wyoming, who graduated with an associate degree in respiratory therapy, was presented with the Thomas Beddos Award for Overall Excellence. This award is given to a student with a GPA of 3.75 or better in all respiratory courses with a 3.50 overall GPA who exemplifies a model of professional behavior and the ability to integrate both academic and clinical areas.

Brillhart achieved a 3.91 GPA in a demanding program of study while demonstrating exceptional teamwork and leadership skills. Several of her clinical sites nominated her for clinical excellence in patient care. She is especially interested in pediatrics, and is looking forward to starting her career as a respiratory therapist at Rhode Island Hospital. Her plans include passing her advanced-level credentialing exam this summer and spending time with her three sons.

Sara Lemme receives her award.Sara Lemme of Harrisville, who graduated with an associate degree in respiratory therapy, was presented the Joseph Priestly Award for Clinical Excellence. This award is given upon recommendation of clinical instructors and the director of clinical education to a student who demonstrates excellent patient care skills in the clinical portion of the program. Students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.25 in the respiratory major and a GPA above a 3.0 to be considered for the award.

Lemme has consistently demonstrated excellence in her approach to clinical care, and has a calm, confident demeanor that puts patients at ease and enables her to work well with other staff. Her clinical instructors describe her as “adaptive, confident and flexible” and as having “superior analytical skills.” She is the mother of two young girls and has accepted a position at UMASS Memorial Medical Center’s University Campus in Worcester, Mass.

Amie Rego receives her award.Amie Rego of Fall River, Mass., who graduated last week with an associate degree in respiratory therapy, was presented the Antoine Lavoisier Award for Academic Excellence. This award is given to the student with a GPA of 3.75 or above in all respiratory courses and a 3.50 overall GPA.

Rego has achieved a grade point average of 3.95 in this demanding program and consistently demonstrated high academic standards throughout her course of study.

Linda M. Montgomery of North Kingstown and Paulette M. Whitman of Coventry, who each graduated with an associate degree in respiratory therapy, were presented with the Marion T. Leone Scholarship.

TLinda Montgomery recieves her award.he Rhode Island Society for Respiratory Care started the scholarship upon Leone’s retirement, to honor her for her years of dedicated service promoting the profession of respiratory care in Rhode Island by supporting students starting their careers as respiratory therapists.        

Montgomery was selected because she has shown the resilience and determination to successfully complete the Respiratory Therapy program despite multiple barriers. She plans to use this scholarship to help pay for her credentialing examinations, and looks forward to starting her career as a respiratory therapist.

Paulette Whitman receives her awardWhitman dropped out of high school and later returned for her GED diploma. She met her husband when she was 16 and they married three years later and had three sons together. In 2003, he died unexpectedly after a massive heart attack and she needed to find a way to support herself and her children.

She returned to school for real estate, but the pay was sporadic and she didn’t have health insurance. She began a daytime job with benefits, while still working in real estate and as a waitress part time. In 2007, she lost all three jobs. After she and her siblings helped their father through his last years of life as he battled emphysema, she was inspired to study respiratory therapy.

Matthew Wehrheim receives his award.Matthew G. Wehrheim of Cumberland, who graduated with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Technology, received the Clinical Excellence Award.

Clinical laboratories that train CCRI Clinical Laboratory Technology students are asked for recommendations of students who have shown exceptional ability in the field of laboratory science.

Wehrheim started the program after being displaced from a previous job. After his first clinical rotation, he so impressed his clinical instructors that they hired him as a phlebotomist and specimen-receiving technician, and he worked at the hospital part time and on a per diem basis while finishing up this studies. He completed the program with a 4.0 GPA.

Marshia Borghetti accepts her award.Marshia P. Borghetti of Woonsocket, who graduated with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Technology last week, recently was honored with the Clinical Laboratory Technology Faculty Award.

The award is given to a student who has demonstrated self motivation, diligence and perseverance during the course of program studies while overcoming many personal difficulties and financial obstacles. This student is an example of courage and determination, and completed the program while maintaining high academic standards. In choosing Borghetti for the honor, faculty said she has been a model of courage and determination in completing her program of study and they chose her because of her true desire to make a better life for herself and her family. She completed the CLT program with a 3.65 GPA.

Fall River, Mass., resident Jasmine R. Cleary, who graduated with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Technology last week, was honored with the Yatkso Scholarship, which recognizes the sophomore with the highest scholastic honors in the Clinical Laboratory Technology program.

Cleary has a bachelor’s degree from Johnson & Wales University but has always wanted to pursue a career in the health field. As a full-time student, she maintained a 3.9 GPA while working full time at three different restaurants. She also completed her first marathon in February.   

Angie Serpas of West Angie Serpas receives her award.  Warwick, who graduated with an associate degree in General Studies, was honored as the recipient of the Uber/Testa Award, given in honor of deceased psychology faculty members Thomas Uber and Anthony Testa to recognize  outstanding performance of students in the study of psychology.

Recipients of the award demonstrate an interest and commitment to the field and are chosen based upon the following criteria: outstanding academic performance in at least three courses in psychology, eligibility to graduate at commencement of the current year;  demonstrated interest in extracurricular psychology-related activities, such as working in a volunteer program; psychology-related employment; involvement in the college Psychology Club; and recommendation from former and/or present psychology instructors.  

Serpas is a member of Psi Beta and Phi Theta Kappa and has been actively involved in the Psychology Club, serving as an officer on two occasions. She has organized trips to conferences and raised funds for a local women’s shelter. She is an intern in the Disability Services for Students program and is a member of AmeriCorps. She possesses excellent time management skills and has been described by her professors as one of their best students, and she has accomplished all of this while raising three young children. Her academic goals include working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Rhode Island College and pursuing her master’s degree in forensic psychology.

Melody Lawrence of Foster and Charmian Talbot of West Warwick were presented with the the Edward and Lucy D. Medeiros Scholarship, which recognizes students graduating from CCRI who have given of their time, talents and energies and demonstrated leadership in the promotion of student activities at the community college.

Melody Lawrence receives her award.Lawrence, a General Studies major, was a member of the CCRI Women’s Soccer Team and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. She has been involved in organizing community service projects including running a soccer clinic for a Girl Scout troop, adopting a classroom program that raised money to buy Christmas presents for handicapped children, and volunteering at a YMCA assisting with a sportsmanship clinic for children. Her long-term academic goals include becoming a veterinarian. She will transfer to the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y., where she will work toward a degree in biology.

Charmian Talbot accepts her award.Talbot, a Social Work major, has a 3.8 GPA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She is a tutor in the Student Success Center at the Warwick campus, has served as vice president of the Human Services Club and organized a community service project that focused on assisting Haitian earthquake victims. She is a member of the Psychology Club and Psi Beta Psychology Honor Society. Her long-term academic goals include working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a graduate degree in counseling. Her areas of interest are substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Stephanie Power accepts her award.Stephanie J. Power of Bristol, who graduated with an associate degree in General Studies, received the Barbara Colavecchio Transfer Scholarship.

This scholarship provides support to a graduating student who is transferring to a four-year college or university who is pursuing a liberal arts degree with preference given to a student who selects English or secondary English a major and to students who have completed at least six credits in literature.

In her application, Power said she loves to study literature because, much like most creative expression, it encompasses so many aspects of what it means to be human and that, by virtue of being human, we’re all writing a story just by living. She graduated with a 3.95 GPA and is transferring to Smith College in the fall as a junior majoring in English language and literature. Her eventual career goal is to be a guidance counselor.

Danielle Donovan accepts her award.Danielle A. Donovan of Coventry, who graduated with an associate degree in General Studies, received the Robert F. Dalton Scholarship.

The scholarship provides support to students who are graduating or transferring to a four-year college. Students must demonstrate their love of reading, writing and the English language and have plans to become an English teacher. Students must submit an essay on their goals, whey they should be considered for the scholarship, and one or two pieces of their own best writing work.

Donovan has maintained a 3.64 GPA while working her way through college. She is a member of the Joint Admissions Agreement program and will transfer to the University of Rhode Island, where she will pursue degrees in both English and secondary education, with a minor in writing. Her goal is to become a high school English teacher and, eventually, a college professor.

Cynthia Silva accepts her award.Cynthia R. Silva of Pawtucket, who graduated with an associate degree in General Studies, received the Clara Leclerc Philosophy Scholarship.

The scholarship provides financial support to students who are graduating and transferring to a four-year college or university, with preference given to students who are philosophy majors or students majoring in a liberal arts program.

Silva will transfer to Rhode Island College to earn a degree in psychology and then a counseling degree. She worked at The Homestead Group in Woonsocket helping families and special needs children and plans ultimately to become a counselor to struggling adolescents. In this professional capacity, she hopes to apply philosophical methods to induce therapeutic self-insight.

Jael Acevedo accepts her award.Jael Acevedo of Providence, who graduated with an associate degree in General Business, was presented with the Christina M. Liston Scholarship.

The scholarship is intended to be granted to a graduating CCRI student who has achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and has been accepted at a four-year institution for continued studies towards the bachelor’s degree in business, computer science or a related field. The recipient should have demonstrated a high degree of personal initiative while at CCRI and have exhibited strong leadership qualities as evidenced by participation in extracurricular activities.

Acevedo, who also was selected as this year’s student commencement speaker, first attended CCRI as a nursing student but, over time, began to think she was in the wrong field.

She had always enjoyed keeping her personal budget and a friend suggested she take an accounting class. She graduated with a 3.8 GPA and plans to attend Bryant University to continue her business studies with the goal of becoming a certified public accountant and earning her master’s degree.

She and commencement speaker runner-up Heather Kumar of Middletown also were recognized for that achievement.

Also at the luncheon, five graduating Community College of Rhode Island students were honored for completing the college’s Honors Program.

The Honors Program is a rigorous and prestigious enterprise and reflects the college’s commitment to academic excellence. In the program, students can enhance their educational experience while at CCRI by studying topics of their choosing in more depth and complete honors projects within courses they are taking. Students who complete four honors projects at CCRI are designated as Honors Program graduates and receive special recognition at graduation.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Brendan Baba of Providence, who graduated with a degree in General Studies
  • Karl A. Golz of Swansea, Mass., who graduate with a degree in Electronics Technology
  • Meredith A. Grajeda of Middletown, who graduated with a degree in General Studies
  • Candie M. Komorowski of Providence, who graduated with a degree in Paralegal Studies
  • Allison L. Knight of Wakefield, who graduated with a degree in Nursing

View more photos from the event.




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Last Updated: 8/25/16