Honors Program awards students

The ceremony returns after two years.


Joseph Giddings

Honors Club President Lorenzo Navalez and Honors Program Director Jennifer Saito present at awards ceremony.

Joseph Giddings, Staff Writer

Known for their hard work and strong work ethic, this year’s Honors Program students had the opportunity to be recognized for their dedication and academic achievements on May 5 through the return of the annual Honors Awards Ceremony. 

In a Student Union conference hall packed with loved ones, professors and administrators, nearly 200 of the program’s 250 students were recognized for their work throughout the 2021-2022 school year. In addition, each of the club’s elected officials were given the spotlight for the time and effort they put in to return the club and its activities to the campus.

Separated by their completion of courses within the program, club members lined the aisles of the hall as they awaited to be recognized by club founder and Honors director Jennifer Saito to receive awards from their elected representatives. Despite taking place at the end of the 2022 school year, former 2021 Honors Program students also returned to the campus to receive their long-awaited recognition and awards for their accomplishments since the pandemic prevented holding an in-person ceremony last year. 

Honors course professors such Luis Zuniga, Scott Cabral and Jim Jackson were shown appreciation from the club’s members throughout the ceremony as well for the inspiration and impact of their courses. 

Club members Samantha Green and Matthew Murnane also attributed professors Jennifer Smith and Saito for providing an intellectually challenging but fun approach to their courses and academic experiences.

Green said her online philosophy course was tough but praised Smith’s approach. 

“She made the class super fun, and I liked learning all the technology that went along with philosophy,” said Green. 

Throughout the ceremony, students expressed appreciation for the program with many saying that their time in honors will lead to positive effects on their future educational and professional careers. 

“This college experience is what you make of it, and always take advantage of what community college can offer, because you decided to come here for a reason…. this is your time to really discover yourself, so make sure that that’s your number one goal in life,” said club co-historian Luigi Afficial. 

With a three-year long absence from the campus, Saito described the return of the ceremony as a blessing, and said she possesses a newfound appreciation for the ability to recognize her students in person. 

“You did it…being in the Honors Program and taking these Honors classes during a global pandemic, they’re superstars,” said Saito.