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Student & Alumni Success Stories

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Daniel Klim Read Story
Daniel Klim

NEWEST!

Alumnus Daniel Klim Appointed Chair of the MCCC Foundation Board

“This college is full of great memories for me, and it served as my springboard. As an MCCC student and athlete, in and out of the classroom served me well in life.”

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Willie Singletary Read Story
Willie Singletary
’22, A.A.S. Funeral Service

Persistence and Determination Moved Him Past Life’s Hardships Toward Commencement Speaker

“I wouldn’t trade my experience at Mercer for anything. It is a school with great professors. What I can say is to always keep the faith and keep pushing forward.”

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Dean Blank Read Story
Dean Blank
’16, A.A. Liberal Arts

Software Engineer Dean Blank Finds His ‘Good Luck’ Through Hard Work

“There are a lot of wise professors at Mercer. I was able to achieve my goals and find my path with the help of professors, coaches, friends, family, and the communities I became a part of. Everyone in my life played a significant role in leading me to where I am today.”

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Ryan Sarria Read Story
Ryan Sarria
Aviation Flight Technology

Aviation Student Ryan Sarria Reaches New Heights -- Excels Academically and Finds Community with Fellow Veterans

“Opportunities were available to me because I was a Mercer student. Everyone is willing to help everyone else. So many people want you to succeed. They will help you. All you have to do is ask.”

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Ashley Minter Read Story
Ashley Minter

Ashley Minter Gains Gift of Tenacity in Ten-Year Journey to Bachelor’s Degree

“Mercer provided more than an education. I had professors and advisors who encouraged and pushed me and contributed to my next steps.They did everything possible to convince me that I was more than what I perceived myself to be. They were my family.”

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Pam Prather Read Story
Pam Prather
’12, A.A. Psychology

Pam Prather Rewrites Her Story at MCCC

When she started at Mercer, she was raising three children –- and battling significant self-esteem issues.

“It was so difficult for me at first. I thought I couldn’t do it. Mercer made me feel like I could. Mercer got me ready for success in the real world.”

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Jessica Pomarico Read Story
Jessica Pomarico
’21, A.S. Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Graduate Jessica Pomarico Finds Ingredients for Success at Mercer

Once enrolled at Mercer in 2019, she was not going to let anything stop her – not even a pandemic.

“I pushed to get this degree. Mercer truly prepared me.”

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Johntae Jeffries Read Story
Johntae Jeffries

JOHNTAE JEFFRIES BUILDS COMMUNITY AT MERCER - SAYS ‘THANK YOU IS NOT ENOUGH’

“The time I have spent at Mercer has been filled with so many people and experiences. In fact, I have never taken a course with the same professor twice,” Jeffries observed. “My best moments have been when I got to create and share with others and build relationships that last.”

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Perfect Frimpong Read Story
Perfect Frimpong
’21, A.S. Biology

ALUMNA PERFECT FRIMPONG SETS SIGHTS ON CAREER IN MEDICINE

Starting out at MCCC was Frimpong’s best choice for myriad reasons. “Education is the key. Mercer was the right fit in terms of my major. It was close to home, and class sizes are small. I had an opportunity to establish close relationships with professors and students. The willingness of tutors to help students also really stood out,” she recalled.

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Sindy Sandoval-Vega Read Story
Sindy Sandoval-Vega
’20, A.A. Liberal Arts

Sindy Sandoval-Vega Says ‘Everyone Is Willing to Help’ at Mercer

Sandoval-Vega maintains that she liked everything about Mercer. “The environment, the atmosphere, and mostly the support Mercer has given me have been great. I love the fact that everyone is willing to help if you seek help,” she said.

She recalls many people who supported her success – faculty, staff members and classmates. “They were all ready to lend a hand whether it was related to academics, advisement, financial aid or other issues,” she recalled.

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Aileen Montalva Read Story
Aileen Montalva
 

Nursing Student Aileen Montalva Says ‘Nothing Will Stop Me From Achieving My Dreams’

Montalva is the grateful recipient of MCCC’s Go4It Foundation scholarship. “The scholarship helped alleviate some of the financial pressure I had. It helped me focus more of my time on education. It put me one step closer to my dream of becoming a registered nurse,” she said.

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Kayla Small Read Story
Kayla Small
'20, A.A.

Kayla Small Learns Critical Lesson at MCCC: ‘I Am a Fighter’

Small enthusiastically recommends Mercer. “It was the best option for an amazing education that wouldn't leave me in debt, all the while preparing me for a bigger university,” she said. She encourages students to take advantage of the things Mercer has to offer – caring professors, tutoring, and mental health services.

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Alexis Brickner Read Story
Jimmy DeMaio, 1999
Bryan Bentzinger, 2012

In a Field Where Science, Business Savvy and Compassion Collide, MCCC Alums Jimmy DeMaio and Bryan Bentzinger Give One Hundred Percent

What do you get when you combine aptitudes in chemistry, microbiology, pathology and anatomy with management skills and a desire to help families during one of their most crucial times of need? You get multi-talented individuals like Jimmy DeMaio, class of 1999, and Bryan Bentzinger, class of 2012 — two Mercer County Community College (MCCC) alums who have dedicated their lives to the profession of mortuary science.

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Alexis Brickner Read Story
Alexis Brickner
Alumni - A.A.S. '10

Alumna Alexis Brickner Is Focused on Entrepreneurial Success

When Mercer County Community College (MCCC) alumna Alexis Brickner made a conscious effort to turn her life around in her twenties, little did she know she would eventually be the owner of a successful business called Alexis Marie Photography + Designs in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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Ralston Denton Read Story
Ralston Denton
Alumni - '99

MCCC Alumnus Ralston Denton '99 Named Captain of Trenton Fire Department

While MCCC Alumnus Ralston Denton doesn’t work for recognition, earlier this summer, he was sworn in as Captain of the Trenton Fire Department. The promotion is the latest acknowledgement of Denton’s impact on his community.

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Daniel Hurley Read Story
Daniel Hurley - A.A., Liberal Arts

ALUMNUS DANIEL HURLEY FINDS HIS NICHE RESEARCHING GLOBAL HUMAN SECURITY ISSUES FOR WASHINGTON D.C. THINK TANK

Daniel Hurley may have two jobs right now, but the 2017 honors graduate of Mercer County Community College (MCCC) has one unifying vision: to advance human rights in U.S. foreign policy.

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Breianna Pettis Read Story
Breianna Pettis

Honors Student Breianna Pettis Chose MCCC, Now Columbia University Has Chosen Pettis

Talented. Thoughtful. Patient. Those are just a few of the terms that describe Mercer County Community College (MCCC) liberal arts student Breianna Pettis.

And now Pettis can add the term “Ivy Leaguer” to the list. Pettis will start the Fall semester at New York City’s Columbia University.

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Brad Butler II Read Story
Brad Butler II
'09, A.F.A. Fine Arts

MCCC Alumnus Brad Butler II '09 Speaks Truth at Educational Opportunity Fund Summer Enrichment Academy

Brad Butler II is a 2009 graduate of Mercer County Community College and current motivational speaker. Unlike many of Mercer’s students, Butler isn’t a Trenton native. However, he still shares an often familiar story of fighting adversity.

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MCCC Heroes Read Story
MCCC Heroes

MCCC Alumnae Danielle Campoli and Nadine Clement are on the Frontlines Fighting COVID-19

6/2/20

West Windsor, N.J. – What is the most important skill students learn in Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Medical Labortory Technician (MLT) program? For alumnae Danielle Campoli and Nadine Clement, it was the art of pipetting.

“There was a lot I have taken from MCCC MLT program,” Campoli said. “One of which was learning to have great pipetting skills. The program helped me to understand the methodology behind the PCR testing we perform and apply critical thinking.”

Campoli, who graduated in 2018, works at the Virtua Health System in Voorhees while Clement, who graduated in 2017, works at the CentraState Medical Facility in Freehold.

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Jessica Bookholdt and Ivania Asencio Read Story
Jessica Bookholdt '20
Ivania Asencio '20

MCCC Alumni Jessica Bookholdt '20 and Ivania Asencio '20 Make History as the College’s First Princeton University Transfers

Just two years after Princeton University opened its doors to transfer students, Jessica Bookholdt and Ivania Asencio are making history at Mercer County Community College (MCCC), becoming the first two students to transfer to the prestigious Ivy League school.

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Nicole Torrone Read Story
Nicole Torrone
'17, A.A.S. Medical Laboratory Technology

MCCC Med Lab Tech Alum Nicole Torrone ’17 is Freehold's First Line of Defense

MCCC Med Lab Tech Alum Nicole Torrone ’17 is on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, testing patients and processing viral samples at the CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, NJ.

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Keighley Hullfish Read Story
Keighley Hullfish
'19, A.A. Education

MCCC Alum Keighley Hullfish ’19 Found a New Life Across the Pond

MCCC Alumna Keighley Hullfish found a new life for herself at Mercer as a lead member of the college's Alpha Theta Gamma Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

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Mani Kissling Read Story
Mani Kissling
'17, A.A. Liberal Arts

MCCC Athlete-turned-Singer Mani Kissling Returns to the Spotlight with Her Single, “Potential”

The track, released on April 1, is a breezy, R&B-infused jam that plays close to the sounds of Kissling’s biggest influences. Her sultry vocals lace the track with an Alicia Keys-like timbre, while her upbeat message tinted by wanderlust sparks comparisons to an up-and-coming Rhianna.

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Tim Lynch Read Story
Tim Lynch
'15, A.A.S. Fire Science

MCCC Fire Science Grad Tim Lynch Appointed West Windsor Fire Chief

West Windsor, N.J. – No sooner than one Mercer County Community College (MCCC) graduate retired from the West Windsor Fire Department did another take his place.

Following the retirement of former MCCC student and Professor Jim Yates, who graduated from the college in 1978, MCCC graduate Tim Lynch was promoted to Chief of the West Windsor Fire Department on April 1.

A third-generation resident of Hopewell Township, Lynch graduated from Mercer in 2015 with an A.A.S in Fire Science. From there, Lynch took his Mercer degree and earned his B.S. in Public Safety Administration at Holy Family University in Philadelphia in 2017.

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Mateusz Kuklinski Read Story
Mateusz Kuklinski
Alumni - Criminal Justice

MCCC Grad and Firefighter Mateusz Kuklinski Stays Ready During Coronavirus Pandemic

While the entire world fixates on alleviating the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercer County Community College Criminal Justice graduate Mateusz Kuklinski is helping out in a different way.

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Cook Dad/Daughter Read Story
Nikole and Dale Cook
Alumni - Criminal Justice, Communications

Mercer County Community College Makes Lasting Impact on Dad and Daughter Duo

Dad and daughter Dale and Nikole Cook graduated from Mercer County Community College 32 years apart from each other and both expressed that attending Mercer County was one of the best decisions they made.

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Paige McCloskey Read Story
Paige McCloskey
Alumni - Aviation

MCCC Aviation Program Trains McCloskey to be 1st Officer for Regional Airlines

Mercer County Community College student, Paige McCloskey, never imagined nor never wanted to attend college. After careful consideration, she decided to join MCCC’s Aviation Program and fell in love with the program after taking intro to flight at Infinity Flight Club.

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Gemma Milly Read Story
Gemma Milly
Alumni - Plant Science

Botanist and MCCC Alumna Gemma Milly Lives among the Trees

A New Jersey native, Milly grew up in the Hopewell Valley, about 12.5 miles northwest of MCCC’s West Windsor campus. She spent her childhood. In those same backdrops featured in her headshots – the great outdoors. Now, she works as a Land Steward with the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) and runs her own botanical consulting business, a pair of roles she loves and can talk about at length.

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Tracy Washington Read Story
Tracy Washington
’89, A.S. Business Administration

Trenton Native and MCCC Alumnus Tracy Washington Goes International with Supply Chain Management

“Growing up I was very involved in my community, coaching basketball, baseball and football among other things,” Washington said. “That sparked my interest in Mercer, with an added bonus of how affordable it was to attend.”

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Boyana Georgieva Read Story
Boyana Georgieva
'16, A.S. Criminal Justice

Alumna Boyana Georgieva Uses MCCC as a Platform for a Career in Public Service

In 2013, Boyana enrolled at MCCC, her eyes set on the Criminal Justice program. At 32 years old, and with a four and seven-year-old, Georgieva pushed herself to spark a career change that would benefit her and her family.

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Jason Lima Read Story
Jason Lima
Alumni ’17, A.S., Business Administration

Alumnus Jason Lima to Get Down to Business at J&J's Chicago Office

All of that hard work got attention at hiring time. "Of the 43 students participating in the program, J&J hired five of us full-time," he said.

Looking back on the past four years, Lima observes that it’s been a fulfilling journey, one that started at MCCC.

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Megan Serfass Read Story
Megan Serfass
’18, A.A.S. Illustration

Art Alumna Megan Serfass Wins Best in Show at Mercer County Artists Exhibit; Show on Display Through July 8

Surprised, happy, excited. Oh, and jaw-dropping. That’s how Mercer County Community College (MCCC) alumna Megan Serfass ’18 (A.A.S., Illustration), of West Windsor, recalls reacting when her name was announced for the Best in Show prize at this year’s Mercer County Artists (MCA) Awards Reception on May 22.

Serfass’s award-winning painting, entitled “Goldfinches,” measures just 8” x 10,” but is vivid in color and rich in detail. It’s deceptively straightforward at first glance, until the viewer looks closer and realizes that the frame is part of the painting, appearing so real that it could easily be mistaken for a three-dimensional frame.

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Barri Deptula Read Story
Barri Deptula
’16, A.S. Biology, A.S. Chemistry

Alumna Barri Deptula Calls MCCC Key to Advancement in Science Field

Deptula says she was instilled with a love for learning. "I really valued all of my science courses because of how well they were taught and how much I learned." She includes many names on her list of favorites: Diane Hilker (Biology), who encouraged her to apply for the Princeton internship, Dr. Laura Blinderman (Biology), Helen Tanzini (Chemistry), Dr. Ronald Smith (Biology), and Patrick Natale (Biology), among others.

Deptula notes that her Mercer professors also taught her life skills. "I've learned to time manage, be confident, and work hard. I apply these qualities to everything I do," she said.

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Savannah Dziepak Read Story
Savannah Dziepak
’17, A.S. Biology

Savannah Dziepak Says "Science Holds the Promise of Solutions to Practically Anything"

Dziepak says MCCC was a logical first step in her college education. "I was still young for college. When I started, I was the youngest in all my classes. But classes were small and I came to realize that my professors were not scary. They were good teachers, they were helpful, and they wanted you to contribute and to ask questions," she said.

Recalling classes that were open and comfortable, Dziepak credits MCCC with being a true foundation for her future. "It's where I found my voice," she said. "I learned how to learn at Mercer."

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Charlie Eosso Read Story
Charlie Eosso
’18, A.A.S. Automotive Technology

All Systems Go for Automotive Technology Grad Charlie Eosso

"I decided to pursue a college degree. The people I knew in the field with degrees were employed at a higher level, including as foremen. Getting your associate degree enables you to go further in your career and prepares you for transfer if you want to get a bachelor's degree."

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Stacy Harris Read Story
Stacy Harris
’15, A.A.S. Information Technology

MCCC Provides Building Blocks for Stacy Harris' Career with Microsoft

Attending MCCC from 2013-15, Harris earned an A.A.S. degree in Information Technology and a Certificate in Network Engineering. Even after completing the requirements for her degree, she took two additional courses, Mobile App Development and a course in Java, to add to her skill set.

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Adrian Colon Read Story
Adrian Colon
’12, A.S. Business/Television

Filmmaker and Comedian Adrian Colon Is Serious About Success

A Trenton native, Colon enrolled at MCCC in 2009 to study business. He excelled in his business courses, but was quickly drawn into the collaborative atmosphere of the Television Program. "Being on those production teams gave me the confidence to be the leader and take charge of a group."

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Ayodele Kanyako Read Story
Ayodele Kanyako
’12, A.A. Liberal Arts/Social Sciences

Alumna Ayodele Kanyako Blossoms at Mercer En Route to Career as Social Worker

"Mercer's curriculum fit well with my goal to become a social worker. And, as a part-time employee, I was able to finish work and attend a class, or attend a class and then start work."


Kevin Ortega Read Story
Kevin Ortega
'16, A.S. Biology, A.S. Chemistry

Alum Kevin Ortega Is All Business at Mercer as He Supplements Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry

Having completed his bachelor's degree in Chemistry at Rowan University in May, he is now taking a full load of MCCC business classes to help him secure a job in pharmaceutical sales.


Ron Saunders Jr. Read Story
Ron Saunders Jr.
'14, A.A.S. Radio/Television

Alum Ron Saunders Jr. Takes Storytelling to New Level with His L.A. Video Production Company, 'Cinema-Styles'

"At Mercer, I got the opportunity to learn by actually doing."


Latasha White Read Story
Latasha White
Commencement Student Speaker

Trenton Mother of Three Selected as MCCC's 2018 Commencement Student Speaker

As the mother of three sons, Latasha White of Trenton is considered a non-traditional student. White has not only proven that success can come at any age, but that adults are often guided by strong convictions and a sense of purpose that fuel that success.

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Allen Sondej Read Story
Allen Sondej
Alumni '94 - A.S., Criminal Justice

MCCC "Was the Start of Everything" for Professor, Attorney and Former South Brunswick Police Captain

"I'm a kid from Trenton, New Jersey. My high school teachers never pegged me to have a doctorate, or a law degree, or to even finish college, and I wouldn't blame them," Sondej said. "I came to Mercer and they didn't see me that way. They saw me as a college student and welcomed me."


Barbara Harrison Read Story
Barbara Harrison
Alumni - ’08, A.A., Liberal Arts

College Degree Opens Doors for Alumna Barbara Harrison, HR Professional at Capital Health Systems

As an MCCC student, Harrison worked full-time while raising two daughters. She was able to schedule her classes in the evenings, on weekends and online.


Matt Pittore Read Story

Matthew Pittore '08

A.S., Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Alumnus Matthew Pittore Credits MCCC with Pathway to State Park Police Career

Pittore says that reaching his career goal in state law enforcement began at Mercer. He chose MCCC primarily because of the outstanding reputation of its Criminal Justice program.


Nick Donnoli Read Story

Nick_Donnoli '08

A.A.S., Television

MCCC Is First Rung on Ladder That Leads to Video Production at Princeton for Alumnus Nick Donnoli

"I felt that Mercer's programs would not only prepare me for the future, but were also current with the latest trends and technologies,"