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Academic All Stars

DATE: Monday, April 26, 2021

HCC students celebrated by Mass. Association of Community Colleges

Todd Cummings '21 and Miren Alcántara '22

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

Todd Cummings of Northampton and Miren Neyra Alcántara of Holyoke were named to the 2021 Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team for PTK Community College Excellence Week, April 26 -30. 

"I want to congratulate Todd and Miren on their selection to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team," said HCC president Christina Royal. "Their dedication and commitment to academic excellence exemplifies the very best of Holyoke Community College. They are role models in academic achievement and civic engagement, and I'm so proud to have them represent HCC. Miren and Todd are highly engaged students who have brought great leadership to Student Senate and student club activities. This honor is well deserved." 

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 Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team will be honored with virtual recognitions on social media for the second year in a row.  

"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. "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.  

Cummings and Alcántara were previously inducted into Alpha Xi Omega, the HCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.   

In addition, Cummings, a hospitality management major who lives in Northampton, is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as the HCC Creative Writing Club and Student Senate. He is also a New Student Orientation leader, peer tutor, and co-founder of a new HCC men's student support group called D.U.D.E. (Dedication, Unity, Drive for Excellence).  

He will graduate in June with honors and then transfer to the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts to continue his studies in hospitality management.   

Originally from Mexico, Alcántara is a Latinx Studies major who now lives in Holyoke. At HCC, she is president of the Latinx Empowerment Association (the LEA Club) and serves on the college's Student Advisory Board. She works as a peer tutor and volunteers with several community organizations including Climate Change Theater Action, Common Share Food Co-op, and SPARK Reproductive Justice Now. 

Earlier this year, Alcántara was a finalist for the 2021 Young Woman of Impact Award presented by Business West magazine. In March, she received a Newman Civic Fellowship, a national award that recognizes college leaders who demonstrate a commitment to their communities. She will graduate from HCC in 2022.

To follow the week-long virtual celebration, you can find MACC's social media pages below: 

Facebook:  Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (@macommunitycolleges)  

Twitter:  @MassCCs  


PHOTOS: Todd Cummings; Miren Neyra Alcántara