RANDOLPH, NJ – A County College of Morris (CCM) student from Roxbury was one of two from the college named recently to an elite team of scholars, the college said on Wednesday.
The student, Spyridoula Fotinis, of Succasunna, was named to the New Jersey All-State Academic Team, said CCM spokesperson Kathleen Brunet Eagan. She said Michael Gosden, of Rockaway Borough, was also named.
Selection to the team is based on a “exceptional educational achievements and contributions to the community,” according to Eagann. She said Fotinis and Gosden were chosen by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges “based on their academic records and participation in the CCM chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society.”
Fotinis also was named a 2017 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar, an honor that comes with a $1,500 scholarship. “She is one of only 50 students nationwide to receive a Gold Scholar award,” Eagan said. “The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by annually recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars nationwide.”
The 150 students are chosen for their scores in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition from among more than 1,900 finalists, Eagan said.
“We’re very proud that Spyridoula and Michael have been selected for these honors,” said CCM President Anthony Iacono in a statement. “Both are exceptional students who have developed an outstanding academic record at CCM while offering their talents and skills to benefit others.”
Fotinis is an international studies major and vice president of service for the college’s PTK chapter. She gets free tuition to CCM through the NJ STARS program that gives the money to high school students ranking in the top 15 percent of their classes.
“Along with excelling academically, Fotinis has traveled the world as a community service participant with the Eastern Orthodox Church,” Eagan said. “Her first mission project, at the age of 17, was in Kenya assisting school children. During her 2017 spring break, she spent her time in Romania working with orphans. She also has helped to build houses in Mexico and assisted with a homeless shelter in Cleveland.”
Fotinis was quoted as saying she finds it “important to reach out as a human being to make personal connections and to help and serve where you can.” Doing so, she said, helped her learn a lot about herself.
After graduation, Fotinis plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in international studies, hoping for a career in global service work, Eagan said.