Lincroft, NJ – The New Jersey Council of County Colleges will honor New Jersey’s 36 best and brightest community college students and their families at its 17th annual Phi Theta Kappa Day celebration on Thursday, May 5, at the Trenton Marriott Hotel, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Each year, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges hosts this program to recognize the members of the New Jersey All-State Academic Team, sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, and the Coca-Cola Foundation,” said NJCCC President Dr. Lawrence Nespoli. “These students are recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and exceptional service to their communities as members of Phi Theta Kappa at their local community colleges.”

In addition to statewide recognition, County College of Morris student David Seale of Denville was one of 20 students nationwide named to the All-USA Academic Team during the American Association of Community Colleges annual convention in New Orleans on April 11. He received a $2,500 stipend as part of being named one the country’s 20 best college students. The All-USA Academic Team is sponsored by USA Today, Phi Theta Kappa International

and Follett Higher Education Group.

Seale also received a $2,000 New Century Scholarship from the Coca-Cola Foundation for being New Jersey’s top community college student. The Coca-Cola Foundation established the New Century Scholars Program in 2001 to provide additional scholarships and national recognition to the top honors student from each state.

Phi Theta Kappa International and the Coca-Cola Foundation awarded four more scholarships to outstanding New Jersey students as part of the All-USA Academic Team competition.

Brookdale Community College students Alec Moran of West Long Branch and Colleen Roberts of Tinton Falls each received a $1,500 scholarship for being named Coca-Cola Foundation All-USA Gold Medalist Scholars. Bergen Community College student James Olivola of Rutherford, and Middlesex County College student Christina Freund of Hopelawn, each received a $1,250 scholarship for being named a Coca-Cola Foundation All-USA Silver Medalist Scholar.

The 2011 New Jersey All-State Academic Team members are:

  • Atlantic Cape Community College students Mary Moschella of Absecon and Courtney Rice of Egg Harbor Township;
  • Bergen Community College students Krystyn Croney of Bergenfield and James Olivola of Rutherford;
  • Brookdale Community College students Alec Moran of West Long Branch and Colleen Roberts of Tinton Falls;
  • Burlington County College students Francis Ebigbola of Burlington Town and Brittany Pacifico of Mount Laurel;
  • Camden County College students Morgan Dawson of Carneys Point and Michael McLaughlin of Collingswood;
  • Cumberland County College students Donna DiMatteo of Newfield and Erin Thompson of Buena;
  • Essex County College students Ashraf Amadou of Hillside and Amanda Benjamin of Montclair;
  • Gloucester County College students Amy Rosenberger of Mickleton and Heather Wilson of Thorofare;
  • Hudson County Community College students Erika Divivo of Jersey City and Karina Peralta of North Bergen;
  • Mercer County Community College student Christopher Obudho of Hamilton and Loc Tran of Trenton;
  • Middlessex County College students Christina Freund of Hopelawn and Farah Manzoor of Edison;
  • County College of Morris student David Seale of Denville;
  • Ocean County College students Anthony Melillo and Nicole Stella of Toms River;
  • Passaic County Community College students Ashley Champion of Patterson and Elizabeth Walsh of West Milford;
  • Raritan Valley Community College Lorand Laskai of Berkeley Heights and Casey Randazzo of Raritan;
  • Salem Community College student James Fowler II of Pennsville and John Stanko of Salem;
  • Sussex County Community College student Lauren Bell of Ogdensburg;
  • Union County College students Diana Gonzalez and Garnet Roberts-Batson, both of Rahway; and
  • Warren County Community College students Pecolia Everette of Hackettstown and Gabrielle Waldman of Great Meadows.

The New Jersey Phi Theta Kappa Day Celebration is sponsored by PSE&G. Also, 20 of New Jersey’s four-year colleges and universities have offered over $1 million in scholarships to Phi Theta Kappa students transferring to their institutions.

Phi Theta Kappa has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students for 93 years while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government.