Community College Students Celebrate at Annual Awards Ceremony 


Over 100 honorees received personalized award packages with the help of the Credit Union of Colorado.

April 12, 2023 (Arvada, CO) – Today, more than 100 students from the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), Aims Community College, and Colorado Mountain College gathered at the Arvada Center for the 2023 Student Excellence Awards, an annual event hosted by CCCS in partnership with the Credit Union of Colorado and the State Student Advisory Council (SSAC). The ceremony honors students who have demonstrated academic and leadership achievement over the last year.

“I am always impressed by the grit and determination of our students, many of whom are balancing parenting, work, and school to secure a better future for themselves and their families,” said CCCS Chancellor Joe Garcia. “We are proud to recognize their hard work today and know the best is yet to come for these emerging leaders.”

Honorees from 15 colleges earned awards in the following categories:

  • The Inclusive Excellence Champion Award, sponsored by SSAC, recognizes students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campus;
  • The Rising Star Award, sponsored by SSAC, recognizes students who have increased the level and quality of student engagement on campus; and
  • The Phi Theta Kappa All-Colorado Academic Team Award recognizes high-achieving community college students. 

From mentoring others to participating in campus and community organizations, the honorees are committed to positive leadership, professionalism, and academic excellence. Many plan to work in critical fields such as healthcare, information technology, and education upon graduation.

“I like to think of our Student Excellence Awards as our all-star game,” said Dr. Ryan Ross, CCCS Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Equity, and Inclusion. “The awardees represent the very best of our system and their communities. They understand that a college education allows them to find their purpose, transform their lives, and thrive.”



2023 CCCS Student Excellence Awards Honorees:

Aims Community College
Cristal Berumen Alvarado
Stephanie Chou
Patience Cruise
Holly Steinbach

Arapahoe Community College 
Janelle Shannon Schwarting
Armando Astorga
Janaye Culton
McKenna Curran
Morgan Fechter
William Richards
Ryan Wade

Colorado Mountain College
Paul Ruiz
William Narvaez
Edwin Nunez

Colorado Northwestern Community College
Neera Sherpa
Jessie Ford
Marissa Coney
Lauren Hilley
Sofia Bills
Sadie Shake
Brittney Thurman
Tiffany Williams

Community College of Aurora
Matt Sandoval
Emmerry Lee
Arthur Veloz Marin
Devin Jackson
Misty Terrero
Anthony Luevanos
Yazzkhara (Serena) Martinez

Community College of Denver
Emily Landeros
Samantha Tarango
Ansley Anderson
Ashley Adame Jimenez
Nile Bratcher

Front Range Community College
Jaen Chavez
Paige Elliot
Tim Watson
Rachel Link
Jackson Tate
John Komosa
Matthew Sessa
Jesse Clark
Kon Karnes
Brittany Makowski
Dillon Redmond
Yanice Casarez
Lucas Guerrero
Maggie Hernandez
Cristian Madrazo

Lamar Community College
Ny’Jayda Jones
Wayttyn Wollert
Ja’Navia Jones
Aliyah Macias

Morgan Community College    
Ahmed Aden
Jhoany Juarez
Daniel Serna
Khadro Abdi
Jacqueline Mendez
Alex Rivas
Riley Sorensen

Northeastern Junior College     
Joao Lucas Cerqueira Fonseca
Alexis Camara
Abby Scholz
Brittney J. Geschwentner
Brady S. Zink

Otero College
Talara Nittler
Jay Offutt
Jacelyn Olivieri
Sam Hernandez
Lacey Yanez

Pikes Peak State College
Emily DeSmidt
Ajoli-Rose Pascua   
Jordan Myers     
Marsha Brunson
Angelica Guevara
Eunice Rivera
Clancey Dana
Ann Gaydos
Joseph Poelstra

Pueblo Community College      
Vashti Trujillo
Riley Vigil
Allison Miles
Tyler Bendell
Tierney Payne
Taylor Brown
Halka Brunerova
Jessica Cavel
April Monroe
Allison Miles
Tawnya Miller
Louise Turner

Red Rocks Community College
Mickey Schieferecke
Nico Gambone
Cassandra Cevering
Billie Betit
Mark Irby-Gill
Elizabeth Kornowski
Titus Smith
Shaydie Boyd
Erin Newton

Trinidad State Junior College
Caleb McCune
Tamera Flores Hernandez
Jaheim Dewar
Ylenia Exposito
Carolyn Shreiner
Brent Place



About CCCS

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education and workforce development, delivering thousands of programs to over 115,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 35 locations across Colorado. The System’s open-access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to high quality, affordable higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy, and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college

About the Credit Union of Colorado

The Credit Union of Colorado has more than 80 years of experience serving members of the Colorado community. The Credit Union of Colorado supports local businesses, creates Colorado jobs, and is an important source of financial stability in the state economy. Today, more than 130,000 people, from all walks of life, enjoy the benefits of membership in the credit union that is worth over $1.53 billion in assets.

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