Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) announced two nominees this year for the transfer track of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-USA Academic Team award: Irving Amaral and Lisa Marschall. Both students were inducted to the All-Connecticut Academic Team for 2021. The annual All-CT Academic Team ceremony had traditionally been held at the Capitol to acknowledge the success of some of the most accomplished students in our community college system. Last year the program was cancelled because of the pandemic. This year, the awards were hosted in a virtual ceremony on Friday, April 16, 2021. Participants joined the ceremony celebrating our students’ achievements, by signing into the virtual celebration.
Notified of his honor, Irving Amaral expressed gratitude: “Thank you, Phi Theta Kappa and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, for nominating me for this special award. I am honored to be part of the 2021 All-Connecticut Academic Team. I would also like to say a special thank you to Dean Antonio Santiago and my advisor Tammy MacBrien Downs, without whose continued guidance and support this award would not have been possible. I am so grateful to all professors and faculty members with whom I crossed paths throughout my journey at Naugatuck Valley Community College. This award means to me that it is never too late to start over; the hard work is paying off and the future is looking brighter. Thank you again.”
A January 2021 Magna Cum Laude graduate of NVCC with an AS in General Studies, Amaral is currently cross-registered, taking four classes at NVCC and two at Western Connecticut State University. With plans to earn his certificate in Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counseling at NVCC after completing his internship in spring 2022, Amaral is also studying Social work at WCSU.
Commenting on her honor, Lisa Marschall stated, “I have had the pleasure to call NVCC my community college over the course of many years, as I chipped away at one degree, and then another while battling personal hardships. NVCC provides more than academic opportunity, and truly strives to enrich the lives of its students, awarding many opportunities for personal growth as well as building a strong community. I am honored to have been chosen by PTK for the All-CT Academic Team, and I am grateful to the dedicated professors and staff at NVCC, who always encourage me to push past my obstacles and persevere. NVCC has not only given me a strong foundation for my future, but it has also helped me find the strength to soar. My support network of my NVCC community believed in me, even when I had a hard time believing in myself.”
NVCC PTK Faculty Advisor Greg Harding praised the students and their achievements: “Lisa and Irving, along with our entire chapter, excelled during an extremely difficult year for us all. Against the most competitive group of applicants we have had for the All-USA competition in recent years, Lisa and Irving proved to be exceptionally engaged and well-rounded as citizens, students, and members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. These two outstanding students demonstrate a true measure of excellence despite the difficult year, and we are proud that they represent NVCC and Alpha Theta Epsilon, our local PTK chapter, as All-Connecticut Academic team members!”
Founded on November 19, 1918, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is the world’s largest organization specifically devoted to recognizing the achievements of honor students at two-year institutions. PTK has been providing students at two-year colleges with opportunities to earn scholarships, develop their leadership skills, and give back to their respective communities for over one hundred years. The Society has grown from its humble beginnings to boast more than 3.5 million members in the United States and 10 sovereign nations. The Phi Theta Kappa Foundation awards $1.5 million in scholarships to members each year, and the Society has a renewed dedication to help all students succeed, regardless of their past mistakes or their end goals.
Currently, PTK has 33 million members globally and approximately 150 students are inducted into PTK at NVCC each year.