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2014 Presidential Medal of Honor Winners

The Presidential Medals of Honor were established in 2012 to recognize students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members for distinguished service to the mission accomplishment and program outcomes of NVCC students and the College. Honorees are recognized on the recommendation of faculty or colleagues, and on the endorsement of the Office of the President. This year's winners are:

Yovany Cruz and Alejandro Ortega, Student Honorees 

Yovany Cruz has excelled academically and devoted an incredible amount of time to numerous campus and community activities at NVCC. A human services major, she graduates with a 4.0 GPA and is seen by her faculty as incredibly bright, curious, and dedicated to learning. She is also seen as someone who, in the words of her professors, “exemplifies the best characteristics of our students.” 

Alejandro Ortega is an extremely bright student who has extended himself in all aspects of college life during his time at NVCC. A chemistry major, he graduates with a 3.89 GPA, and shows tremendous commitment to working hard and being successful. His faculty and fellow students recognize him as an extremely caring and compassionate young man, which will serve him greatly as he continues to develop as a student and leader. 

Prof. Kathleen Leblanc, Coordinator Of Human Services and Pre-Social Work, Faculty Honoree 

Professor Kathleen Leblanc is a respected faculty member, an effective leader, and a powerful contributor within her division and on campus. Her pioneering work in theme-based service learning, in particular, and leadership of student honors and service learning projects in autism awareness, have made her a presenter at national conferences twice in the last 4 years, as well as multiple times at NVCC and at our sister colleges. 

Provost and Senior Dean of Administration James Troup, Management Honoree

Provost James Troup has shown persistence and creative innovation during extremely difficult budgetary times, thoughtfully finding ways to balance the college budget, and to fund the people, offices, programs, and services that support our students. Since his hire in 2004, he has successfully overseen dozens of building projects, from small campus renovations to the establishment of Technology Hall, the Academic Center For Excellence, the Job Placement Center, the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, and the Danbury Campus. He also helped advocate for evening bus service in Waterbury, an initiative that has changed lives and opened doors, not just for our students, but for individuals and families throughout the city. 

Dr. Paul Sequeira, Special Advisor to the Superintendent for Waterbury Public Schools, Community Honoree

Dr. Paul Sequeira has spent his entire professional life in education serving students, and has worked for Waterbury Public Schools since 1988. He first connected with NVCC many years ago as a supporter and mentor to the CONNCAP program, a program that today serves as a model for NVCC’s numerous college pathway programs. 

In 2012, Dr. Sequeira helped the college earn an $11.2 million grant for the Waterbury GEAR UP program, which serves approximately 2,400 students in Waterbury schools and provides work to more than 40 people during school-year and summer programming. His impact will be felt for some time to come, and the college will miss this important colleague and collaborator after his retirement this summer. 

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