MCCC Presents Awards to Students, Clubs, Programs and Faculty During Recent Honors Night Celebration


Riley Moody, Communications Assistant

Michelle Gaynier, Communications Specialist


Monroe, Mich.- Monroe County Community College has honored the following students, clubs, organizations, faculty and adjunct faculty for their achievements during the 2021-22 academic year.

Faculty Association Outstanding Student Award

The Faculty Association Outstanding Student Award recipients are Presley Bergmooser and Lisa O’Brien.

Bergmooser demonstrated academic excellence in the classroom across all disciplines. She has worked at MCCC as a Writing Fellow and as a tutor. In addition to her success in the classroom and in assisting other MCCC students, she is a small business owner and artist contributing to our community. She will be transferring to Michigan State University in the fall.

O’Brien also demonstrated academic excellence in the classroom across a range of disciplines in her pursuit of becoming a nurse. Her perseverance is clearly demonstrated by the fact that she had to put her education on hold for a time and re-prioritize due to "life happens" situations such as family needs and personal loss before returning to her studies recently. She continues to excel while managing multiple roles in her family along with her work on the cardiac unit in the University of Michigan Health System.

Other nominees for this award included: Amber Barnes, Davon Cann, Levi Couch and David Pienta

Other Individual Student Awards and Recognition included:

All-USA Academic Team Nominees: Emily Klyder and Rachael Miska. In addition, Miska was named a 2022 Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar

President’s Academic Achievement Awards: Soraya Corcoran, Kaylee Kazimer, Heather Matthews, Elizabeth Rodenbeck, Jacob Sadowyj

The George Rhodes Writing Fellow Award: Elisabeth Brockman

Dr. Ronald Campbell Student Government Award: Claire Bacarella, Colette Tibai

Excellence in Journalism: Alexia Greenwood, Emma Marion, Michael Moser, Marie Underwood

Peer Spirit of Nursing Awards: Olivia Scully, December 2021 Class, Cassandra Kish, April 2022 Class

Outstanding Accounting Student Awards: David McBee, Angela Gray

Outstanding Agriculture Student Award: Sam Costello

Overall Outstanding ASET (Applied Science & Engineering Technology) Student Award: David Pienta

Outstanding Business Management Student Award: Soraya Corcoran

Outstanding CIS (Computer Information Systems) Student Award: Jessica Petrowitsch

Outstanding Early Childhood Education Student Award: Karalee DeLormier

Outstanding Electrical Engineering Technology Student Award: Francis Watters

Outstanding Freshman Chemistry Award: Cade Fiscus

Outstanding Humanities Student Award: Elisabeth Brockman

Outstanding Journalism Award: Claire Bacarella, Lauren Werlinger

Outstanding Mathematics Student Award: Ella Ryan

Outstanding Nursing Student Awards: Tracey Jarrett, December 2021 Class, Chloe Suydam, April 2022 Class

Outstanding Respiratory Therapy Student Award: Chase Hill

Outstanding Welding Technology Student Awards: Kevin St. Bernard, Jeron Takacs, Evan Wielfaert

Outstanding Student Program of the Year Award for Excellence in Student and Community: The Student Nursing Association Outreach Programs

For the following faculty awards, students and staff nominate whom they consider to be outstanding faculty.  The award recipients are selected by a committee comprised of faculty, support staff, administrators, and students. 

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award: Joseph Verkennes

Students who nominated Joe for this award described him as “polite, interesting, responsive, and overall awesome professor.” Student comments on classroom evaluations describe him as energetic, caring, flexible, adaptive, and competent."

Other nominees for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award included: Lori Biggs, Cynthia Edwards, Ryan Feroni, Joel Fiedler, Anne Gospodarek, Kevin Pooley, Amy Tennant and Lauren Wallace

Outstanding Faculty Award: Dr. Matthew Bird-Meyer

Dr. Bird-Meyer joined the faculty at Monroe County Community College in the position of Professor of Journalism in 2019. In just three short years, he has made a significant and positive mark on the journalism program at MCCC, particularly in regard to the student newspaper, The AGORA. He has been a perfect fit here at MCCC, where he continues the tradition of rich classes in communications, mass media, and journalism and an award-winning student newspaper!

Other nominees for the Outstanding Faculty Award included: Jenna Bazzell, Mark Bergmooser, Dr. Kevin Cooper, Tracy Giacomini, Dr. Melissa Grey, Mark Jager, Dr. Kenneth Mohney, Dr. Carrie Nartker, Dr. Kathleen Shepherd, Helen Stripling, Kevin Thomas, Tracy Vogt, Scott Wang and  Stephanie Wozniak

Outstanding Diversity Program of the Year Awards were presented to Rudy Flores and Scott Bentley.

Flores, who lives in Adrian and works with migrant workers in Lenawee and Monroe Counties, gave an excellent presentation on the role of migrant workers in our economy during “The Hands that Feed Us” during MCCC’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Flore shared with participants there are hundreds of migrant workers in Monroe County who work in our orchards, on our farms, and many other places and the unique impact they have on the region along with the challenges they face. 

Bentley is Superintendent of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. During MCCC’s Native American Heritage Month he highlighted how a $200,000 grant MCCC received from the Native American Heritage Fund has provided for the Battlefield and MCCC to make important changes in history courses and other initiatives as part of his presentation, “A Journey Towards Understanding.”

About Monroe County Community College

Founded in 1964, Monroe County Community College is a public, two-year institution supported by tax monies from Monroe County, educational funds from the State of Michigan and student tuition.  

The college’s mission is to enrich and transform lives by providing opportunities and excellence in higher education.  The Main Campus is located at 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, Mich., 48161, with easy access to Toledo and Detroit.  The Whitman Center is located at 7777 Lewis Ave.,Temperance, Mich., 48182, near the Ohio-Michigan Border.  Detailed information about MCCC is available at


Lisa OBrien

Lisa O'Brien



Presley Bergmooser

Presley Bergmooser

Dr. Matthew Bird-Meyer

Dr. Matthew Bird-Meyer

Yackee and Verkennes  photo

Dr. Grace Yackee and Joseph Verkennes

Marketing & Communications

Joe Verkennes
Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161

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