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Mendiola and Mersai to Receive NMC Student Leadership Awards (May 19, 2011)

The Northern Marianas College has announced that the prestigious Student Leadership Award will be presented to Amber Mendiola and Katherine Mersai at the 31st commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 21, 2011, at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.

Amber Mendiola and Katherine Mersai were chosen to receive the Student Leadership Award for their leadership skills, active participation in community events, and excellent services to the College's student organizations.

Mendiola will be earning her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. Her accomplishments include participating in Service Learning projects in which she did research for two semesters where she worked with NMC Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service program and produced documentaries based on the research. She has also been a College Access Challenge Project ambassador, as well as a Disability Support Services ambassador, where she tutors and mentors students with disabilities.

“It (receiving the award) makes me feel appreciated and it’s great to be recognized for all the hard work I do at NMC, as well as for the community,” said Mendiola. “I’m thankful that people took the time to actually nominate me because it shows that they are proud of me, trust me, and see me as a good leader.”

In addition, Mendiola is the president and co-founder of the only music club at NMC, PROA Music Society. She and three other students founded the club during the Fall 2010 semester and have performed at events like “Fight Night” and Charter Day.

Katherine Mersai will also be earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education at the upcoming graduation ceremony. Mersai has served as the president of the 2011 NMC graduating class in which she worked with graduation candidates and a committee to make the ceremony a memorable experience. She has also been involved in the community as a volunteer in the AmeriCorps program in which she tutored elementary and high school students.

“It’s always a nice feeling when someone recognizes an individual for their hard work,” said Mersai. “I feel grateful and flattered because I never expected to be a recipient of this prestigious award; even to be nominated was such an honor.”

Mersai was also inducted as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, which is an organization that recognizes students at two-year colleges for their academic excellence and dedication to serving the community. She was also one of seven recipients of the Pacific Islands Club Saipan Scholarship last year.

“Amber and Katherine’s hard work and dedication to the College and the community has not gone unnoticed, and we are very proud of them for earning this award,” said NMC Interim President Lorraine T. Cabrera.

The College is expecting to graduate over a hundred students this Saturday at the Marianas High School Gymnasium. The keynote speakers selected by the graduation candidates are NMC administrators Geri Willis and Barbara Merfalen.

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