New Jersey Council of County Colleges Honors the State’s Top Community College Student Scholars

TRENTON, N.J.—The New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) honored 38 talented, innovative and dedicated community college students and their families at its 25th annual New Jersey Community College Scholars Celebration on Wednesday, May 8, at the New Jersey State Museum, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Our 19 community colleges provide life changing opportunities to over 325,000 students each year, and these 38 students are accomplished academic scholars and community leaders on our campuses,” said NJCCC President Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D.

“Each year, we invite New Jersey’s top community college students and their families to celebrate their outstanding academic achievements and exceptional service to their communities as members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at their local community colleges,” said NJCCC Chair Phil Linfante, Ph.D.

In addition to honoring statewide student achievement, Phi Theta Kappa and the Coca-Cola Foundation have awarded five scholarships to outstanding New Jersey students as part of the All-USA Academic Team competition.

As a member of the Phi Theta Kappa All-USA Academic Team and the New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar, Abderahim Salhi of Hudson County Community College received $7,250 in scholarships from Phi Theta Kappa and the Coca-Cola Foundation.

“In 2018, I joined Phi Theta Kappa excited by the opportunities they promised and quickly learned that being part of this honor society would help me in more ways than I could ever imagine,” Abderahim said.

As the New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar, Victoria Fredrick of Mercer County Community College received a $1,250 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Foundation.

“Just three short years ago I had never heard of Phi Theta Kappa and now I am honored to be one of Phi Theta Kappa’s New Century Workforce Pathway Scholars.  PTK and Mercer County Community College have touched my life in a positive way. They have been vehicles for me to touch the lives of so many others in a lasting positive manner.  I look forward to continuing to pay it forward,” Victoria said.

Lauren Deinhardt of Brookdale Community College received a $1,500 scholarhip for being named a Coca-Cola Gold Scholar. Sarra Hayoune of Hudson County Community College received a $1,250 scholarship for being named a Coca-Cola Silver Scholar. Valeri Al-Touma of Passaic County Community College received a $1,000 scholarship for being named a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar.

In addition, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded two outstanding New Jersey students with prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarships.  Sarra Hayoune of Hudson County Community College and Won Joon Kang of Bergen Community College will each receive up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years to complete their bachelor’s degrees. In addition, the students will both be eligible for up to $75,000 in scholarships for graduate school.

The 2019 New Jersey All-State Academic Team members are:

  • Atlantic Cape Community College students Sangida Akther of Atlantic City and Carissa Roselli of Little Egg Harbor;


  • Bergen Community College students Caroline Sabsoul Moreno of Cresskill and Won Joon Kang of Mahwah;

  • Brookdale Community College students Lauren Deinhardt of Howell and Erica Mittenzwei of Hazlet;

  • Camden County College students Mavis Amegah-Dorr of Glendora and Alisha Vincent of Turnersville;

  • Cumberland County College students Elizabeth Chesebro of Millville and Aleksandar Milosevic of Vineland;

  • Essex County College students Massaer Mar of Hillside and Johanna Navas of Newark;

  • Hudson County Community College students Sarra Hayoune and Abderahim Salhi, both of Jersey City;

  • Mercer County Community College students Simone Beukes of Ewing and Victoria Fredrick of East Windsor;

  • Middlesex County College students Liliana Gerges of New Brunswick and Sitwat Syed of Iselin;

  • County College of Morris students Alejandra Linares Martinez of Livingston and Joaquin Mould Parga of Randolph;

  • Ocean County College students Joseph Badami of Toms River and Elizabeth Wymbs of Brick;

  • Passaic County Community College students Valeri Al-Touma of Clifton and Andy Perales of Paterson;

  • Raritan Valley Community College students Michael Allers of Frenchtown and Alec Wrana of Bernardsville;

  • Rowan College at Burlington County students Natalie Mischlich of Florence and D’Jana Wyllis of Mount Holly;

  • Rowan College at Gloucester County students Courtney Eckstadt and Charles Yahara, both of Manahawkin;

  • Salem Community College students Joshua Quigley of Pennsville and Marissa Stanko of Salem;

  • Sussex County Community College students Adam Cueman of Highland Lakes and Patrick Hild of Newton;

  • Union County College students Hyunjoon Sim of Linden and Esther Valdez of Hillside; and

  • Warren County Community College students Brenda Haycock of Columbia and Arleen Molina of Hackettstown.


In addition, 21 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 101 years while promoting the academic integrity of the community college associate degree. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges joins the leadership of trustees and presidents to serve a resource that strengthens and supports the state’s 19 community colleges.