Five CNCC students receive Student Excellence awards

With spring events canceled due to COVID-19, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), in partnership with student leaders from the State Student Advisory Council (SSAC), briefly postponed its April 2020 Student Excellence Awards Ceremony while staff came up with a creative, virtual event that was held in early May. Through sponsorship from the Credit Union of Colorado, CCCS staff were also able to organize and deliver over 80 packages directly to student awardees that included a medallion, certificate, and backpack full of goodies.   

“Though we were not able to gather in person this spring, our commitment to honor students’ achievements did not waiver,” said Joe Garcia, CCCS chancellor. “Nothing should eclipse the feelings of well-earned pride from our student awardees, and I am proud of the efforts that went into creating this meaningful and important virtual celebration.”

This year, 84 students from CCCS’s 13 colleges and two students from Aims Community College were chosen by their respective institutions for the 2020 Student Excellence Awards. Three award categories recognized and honored students for their academic accomplishments, exemplary leadership, and commitment to inclusive excellence:

The Phi Theta Kappa All-Colorado Academic Team award specifically recognizes the academic accomplishments of high-achieving student members of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society from across the state.

The Rising Star Award, sponsored by SSAC, recognizes students who have increased the level and quality of student engagement on their college campus.

The Inclusive Excellence Champions Award, also sponsored by SSAC, recognizes students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion on their college campus.

From mentoring children and young adults to spending countless hours as volunteers for various campus and community organizations, this dynamic group of students has demonstrated being reliable, professional, and having deep-rooted passion for helping others. Many of the awardees expressed aspirations to continue their advocacy work and interests in pursuing careers that will help heal and empower communities in fields such as health care, social services, criminal justice, and education.

“This year’s Student Excellence honorees have shown true grit and determination in not only their education but also in positively shaping their community,” said Dr. Ryan Ross, CCCS associate vice chancellor for student affairs, equity, and inclusion. “It is these life experiences that will serve them well throughout the rest of their college journey and beyond.”


Adam Cooley

Robert Pappert

Rebekkah Watson

Samantha Lares

Jose Salazar Rentieria

View the 2020 Virtual Student Excellence Awards presentation and honorees at

PRESS RELEASE |Special to the Herald Times