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Academic All-Stars

DATE: Thursday, April 30, 2020

Four HCC students named to All-Massachusetts Academic Team

President Christina Royal congratulates HCC student Maxwll Faytell on his induction into the college chapter of the PHi Theta Kappa national honor society.

Four Holyoke Community College students are among the academic all-stars being honored this week by the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges.

Maxwell Faytell of Northampton, Esfier Okhrimenko of Westfield, Synell Rodriguez of Holyoke, and Jordan Wyman of Turners Falls were named to the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team for PTK Community College Excellence Week, April 27 through May 1. 

"I want to congratulate Max, Esfier, Synell and Jordan on their selection for the Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team," said HCC president Christina Royal. "Their passion and pursuit of excellence exemplifies the very best of Holyoke Community College and I'm so proud to have them represent us. Their gifts of leadership and service have made an impact within the HCC community and I'm confident their future contributions will be felt far beyond Massachusetts. This is well-deserved honor for all of them." 

A celebratory ceremony is traditionally held at the Massachusetts State House in Boston to honor the highest academic achievers in the state's 15-member community college system. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team ceremony scheduled for April 8 was cancelled. Instead, the students are being honored this week with virtual recognitions on social media. 

"Every year, we look forward to this opportunity to highlight the community colleges' commitment to access, opportunity, and excellence," said Tom Sannicandro, director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges. "Despite the virtual nature of this year's recognition, the outstanding achievements of our students cannot be understated. We are proud of all they have accomplished and celebrate the continued pursuit of their academic and career aspirations."

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges, and has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students for more than 100 years while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa.  

Max Faytell is an engineering major and the current president of Alpha Xi Omega, the HCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. 

Esfier Okhrimenko is a biology major whose long-term plan includes and plans to enter a physician assistant program after graduating from HCC. 

Jordan Wyman is studying radiologic technology and hopes to specialize in mammography. Synell Rodriguez studies early childhood education at HCC while working at the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke. 

All four had been inducted previously into Phi Theta Kappa at HCC.

Duing PTK Community College Excellence Week, highlights about each of the students is being  posted to MACC's social media sites: 

Facebook:  Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (@macommunitycolleges)  

Twitter:  @MassCCs  

Instagram@macommunitycolleges  

PHOTO Above: President Christina Royal congratulates HCC student Max Faytell of Northampton on his induction into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Faytell is now president of the HCC chapter of PTK and has been named to the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team, along with three other HCC students. 



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