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Group photo of all students with their certificate.

College names Fall 2021 Students of Semester  

By: Mike Gavin
Published: December 06, 2021

SPINDALE (Dec. 2, 2021) – Twenty-one Isothermal Community College students were recognized for exemplary performance this week.

The Fall 2021 Learning College Student of the Semester Awards were presented during a ceremony in the lobby of The Foundation Performing Arts and Conference Center on Thursday evening.

This semester ’s award winners are Karen Alvarez-Troche, Delaney Brown, Connie Conner, Megan Enloe, Nicole Jo Frantz, Jessica Goncalves, Kolby Grubb, Andrea Joy Hohrmann, Matthew Hollifield, Jennifer Mangham, Cassondra McClung, Peter Moore, Preston Norton, Jason Porter, Marisa Randolph, Abigail Sanders, Marya Schwartz, Gabriel Torres, Carmen H. Vargas, and Wendell Whipple.

The awards were presented by Dr. Greg Thomas, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, and Dr. Thad Harrill, vice president of Community and Workforce Education and Institutional Advancement. The audience was welcomed and congratulated by Pres. Margaret Annunziata.

Each student was nominated by one or several of the ir instructors. The nomination forms included a section of comments about the qualifications of each student:

Jennifer Mangham 

College and Career Readiness 

Jennifer is reliable, responsible, and hard working. She has really poured her heart and soul into completing high school. Jennifer has worked especially hard during the Fall semester while balancing family obligations. She wrote many practice essays to prepare for the writing exam. Her hard work paid off and she earned a 4! (This is a very high score). She doesn't just pass, she excels. She is now working on her final subject, Math, and is attending on-campus during the day and online in the evenings. She is committed to making a better life for herself and her family. Jennifer has overcome so much and is determined to succeed with her educational goals.


Karen Alvarez-Troche 

College and Career Readiness 

Karen is determined to earn her high school diploma! She attends classes at ParentLearn and has completed 9 credits. In addition to her classes in the Adult High School program and responsibilities as a parent, she co-enrolled in the Pharmacy Tech certificate program in 2020. After completing the program she was hired by Smith's Drug. She is gaining experience as a pharmacy tech and preparing to pass the licensing exam. Karen is a dedicated student and sets a wonderful example for her children. We are so proud of her! 


Marya Schwartz

Continuing Education – Occupational Education – Polk 

Marya Schwartz is an instructor’s dream!! She is goal oriented, takes the initiative, and leads by example. Her cooperation and willingness to assist her classmates exceeds expectations and is such a breath of fresh air. Marya is self-motivated and never backs down from a challenge. She is able to take the concepts she learns in the classroom and readily apply them in a clinical setting, always putting the safety of her patient first. Marya came into the class with an end goal of medical school, however, as the class progressed she is leaning heavily toward nursing, which I could not be happier about! Her intelligence, integrity, and humble nature are qualities that will help her accomplish anything she sets her mind to. I have no doubt, regardless of the path she chooses, we have not heard the end of her story!


Carmen H. Vargas

Continuing Education – Occupational Education – Rutherford 

Carmen demonstrates qualities of perseverance and kindness. She is determined to succeed, and refuses to give up. Carmen works full-time while attending classes at Isothermal as well as balancing a busy home life. Her goal is to become a registered nurse, and our profession will be better when she joins the ranks. She displays an interest in learning new things and is enthusiastic about her educational journey. The integrity, patience, and compassion she demonstrates on a daily basis will take her far in life and in her career. Carmen will be a confident nurse leader and an asset to Isothermal’s nursing program in the future. One thing that really impresses me about Carmen is how proud she is be a Patriot and to be a student at ICC. We see a lot of students who think of ICC as a means to an end, but Carmen is not one of those students. Her genuine, infectious spirit about her school makes me proud to be her instructor. Carmen truly exhibits the qualities of a Student of the Semester nominee, and will reflect positively on Isothermal Community College. 


Matthew Hollifield 

Building Construction Technology, AS&ET 

Matthew Hollifield has demonstrated exceptional dedication to his passion for education in Building Construction, while also establishing teambuilding engagement with the students in his classes. Matthew has been a full-time student, while also working a full-time job. His determination and motivation has proven to be a role model for others to follow. Matthew is a well deserving student that has a bright future in the fields of construction. 


Wendell Whipple 

Building Construction Technology, AS&ET 

Wendell Whipple has established a passionate interest in his educational studies of Building Construction. Wendell has been a full-time student that is motivated in understanding and performing the actions of all construction trades. Wendell interacts easily with others and demonstrates a curiosity of continuously learning new methods to complete performance based tasks or solve problems. His passion and motivation to improve life through learning demonstrates the focus of education. Wendell is a well deserving student that has a bright future in the field of construction. 


Jason Porter 

Mechanical Engineering Technology. AS&ET 

Jason is a great example of a non-traditional student, making the most of the opportunity to return to school and pursue his dreams. After spending several years in the workforce in different areas, Jason came to ICC to complete an Associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He is the ideal student in the classroom. He stays on task, pays close attention to detail and works great with other classmates. He has put maximum effort into all of his classes and has successfully balanced a high semester course load hoping to graduate in the 2022 summer semester. We are proud to present Jason Porter as the Student of the Semester for the Applied Sciences and Engineering Technology department. 


Jessica Goncalves 

Business Administration, CCP 

This year’s recipient works diligently to submit excellent work and master course materials. Jessica’s determination to succeed is evident in everything she does. She is conscientious and very diligent. Her quiet and calm demeanor in class underscores a very bright mind. More importantly, however, she is outstanding because of her attitude! She has a welcoming and caring personality. She always has a smile on her face and a warm greeting for everyone she meets. 


Marisa Randolph 

Business Administration 

It has been an honor to have Marisa Randolph in class over the last few years. She has ALWAYS been a model of professionalism, humility, perseverance, and a strong work ethic. Her discussion posts this semester show the fruit of her hard work as they are very insightful and truly outstanding in critical thought and analysis. These exceptional qualities will continue to follow her as she continues her education beyond Isothermal. Again, it is an honor to present the Outstanding Student of the Semester Award to Marisa West Randolph. 


Preston Norton

Information Technology/Business Sciences 

This year’s recipient consistently submits course assignments that meet and exceed expectations. He thoroughly responds to discussion forum prompts and interacts with peers in an engaging and insightful manner. Preston demonstrates great attention to detail in his pursuit of mastering course concepts, and his work is frequently used as a model for other students. Always a pleasure to have in class, Preston embodies the personal work ethic and motivation for which many students strive. 


Adam Chinchar 

Associate in Science, Arts and Sciences 

Adam is an excellent representative of our Learning College. A Navy veteran, he served our country as a sonar technician for many years. His maturity, eagerness to learn, and academic prowess are all exemplary. He serves other students as a Peer Mentor and utilizes his leadership skills to help and support our diverse population. A well-rounded, intelligent observer, he is able to apply all that he is learning for his future career in civil service. 


Delaney Brown 

Associate in Arts, Arts and Sciences 

Delaney is a determined and hard-working student who always comes to class well-prepared and is willing to make sacrifices to reach her goal of becoming a teacher. She asks great questions and is willing to step out of her comfort zone to accomplish new things. She plans to use her knowledge of Spanish to help in a special needs orphanage in Guatemala. Delaney is always kind and considerate in her actions and will make a great teacher.


Abigail Sanders 

CCP, Transfer, Arts and Sciences

Abigail Sanders is a CCP student that attends Trinity Christian School. She is a senior, and is on track to graduate with an Associate in Arts in addition to her High School Diploma in spring 2022. She has shown initiative and drive since beginning the CCP program. Abby balances her high school courses and college courses well and is successful in both areas. Her kind, positive attitude and drive make her a stellar student at Isothermal Community College.” 


Connie Conner 

Academic Development 

Connie is a conscientious student who has made an extra effort to put learning first in the completion of her assignments. When she doesn’t understand something or doesn’t receive the highest grade for an assignment, she emails to simply ask what she could have done better. An assignment early in the semester asked the students to reflect on what emotion they have starting a new semester; Connie’s response was "hopeful." She explained it had “been a long time since I’ve done any type of school work.” Instead of Connie choosing fear, anxiousness, or trepidation as her emotion, she chose hopeful. Hopeful to do well and to “revisit” what she had learned earlier in life and apply it to what she hopes to learn moving forward. Connie’s hard work, strong work ethic, and commitment to learning is why Connie Conner is deserving of the Student of the Semester Award. 


Kolby Grubb 

Academic Development 

In his MAT 002 class, Kolby has shown his academic strengths by being thorough in his note-taking, faithful in attendance, and eager to actually learn the material. Not only is he an excellent student, but he is respectful and just an overall good guy. Kolby's attention to detail, his work ethic, and his overall classroom presence is why he is Academic Development's Student of the Semester. 


Gabriel Torres 

CCP Criminal Justice/H&PS 

I am proud to nominate Gabriel Torres as the CCP Student of the Semester Award. Gabriel has been enrolled in five of my online courses and is a pleasure to teach. He is always on top of his work and provides well thought out responses and comments to other students in class. He has a goal and a plan to reach it, and I am honored to be a part of this young person's educational journey. He will no doubt make a great addition to our criminal justice system in the future. 


Andrea Joy Hohrmann 

Practical Nursing/H&PS 

Andrea is an inspiration to our students and PN team. She works hard to learn and apply nursing concepts. Despite her responsibilities outside of class, Andrea continues to earn academic excellence. Andrea proposes thought provoking questions that challenge the instructors as well as her classmates. Andrea's excitement for learning, and for nursing, spreads to those around her. It takes a real love of patient care to enter nursing during the pandemic. Andrea understands that COVID will leave its mark on the world for years to come. Andrea is well aware of the difficulty she faces as a nursing student and graduate nurse. Andrea was inspired to become a nurse because her mother worked for over 20 years as a nurse in one of the top hospitals in Chicago. 


Megan Enloe 

Human Services Technology/H&PS 

Megan is an excellent student. She does much more than the minimum requirement for each assignment and truly applies what she is learning in order to be prepared for her work as a social worker. She maintains a high GPA while balancing homeschooling her young children. Megan is always insightful and pleasant. She is deserving of recognition for her dedication and hard work. 


Cassondra McClung 

Criminal Justice/H&PS 

Cassondra has many irons in the fire as she works a full time job and maintains a full course load in the criminal justice program. Cassondra has set herself apart from her peers with her critical thinking and articulation skills that are illustrated in her weekly writing assignments. She sets a fine example to his peers of how to get the job done and that with perseverance all things are possible. For these qualities and more, Ms. McClung is a most deserving recipient of the Student of the Semester Award. 


Peter Moore 

Rutherford Early College High School (REaCH) 

Peter is in the process of completing his Associate in Science degree at ICC, while also completing his high school diploma at REaCH. Peter has excelled in all of his coursework, never shying away from the courses other students perceive as "difficult." He balances academics with a love for music and swimming. Peter also is supportive of those around him. His music theory instructor gave an example of Peter attending another student's recital for class that Peter isn't even taking to support his classmates. Some other things instructors had to say about Peter are, he "adds depth to classroom discussions", "he strives for excellence in all of his work and seeks to understand extensions and applications of what we are studying." Peter embodies the elements of the ICC Student of the Semester Award. 


Nicole Jo Frantz 

Polk County Early College 

Nicole is a conscientious student who takes pride in her work, and is currently 2nd in her graduating class. She will be completing both her high school and college coursework a semester early. Nicole is a kind, humorous person who enjoys participating in the high school band. Nicole was also instrumental in the development of the Outside Classroom at Polk County Early College.

Category: Awards