Passaic County Community College
38th Commencement – May 20, 2010
Valedictorian Class of 2010
When Mercci Gonzalez climbs the podium to speak at Passaic County Community College’s 38th commencement on May 20, her family will learn for the first time that she is valedictorian of the Class of 2010. “I haven’t told them,” she said. “I want it to be a surprise.” Gonzalez, who graduates with a 4.0 average at the top of a class of nearly 600 graduates from PCCC’s four campuses, will receive her Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Business Administration/Accounting. She said she feels “honored and humbled,” to be valedictorian and will give much thought to her speech. “I don’t want it to be routine.”
A member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year colleges, Gonzalez was also inducted into the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Honor Society, is a member of the New Jersey All-State Academic Team, was a nominee for the U.S. All-State Academic Team, and will receive this year’s Business Department Award.
“Mercci was an all-around good student,” commented Professor Ed Pagan who taught her in business classes and recommended her as a tutor for other students He even suggested that she consider a career in college teaching. “She’s very knowledgeable, approachable, friendly, outgoing, always willing to help other students, and has a great, positive attitude,” he said. “If it weren’t for the fact that she needs a Master’s degree to teach here, I’d put her in a classroom right now.”
A resident of Passaic and 2006 graduate of Passaic High School, where she was chosen for the NJ Stars scholarship program, Gonzalez is also a recipient of the Coca-Cola Scholarship. Both scholarships continue to fund her education at Rutgers University in Newark, where she has been enrolled in the Business School since January, having completed her PCCC program last December.
Gonzalez plans to earn her MBA degree one day and hopes to start her own non-profit organization. “There are so many important causes,” she said.
“Maybe my non-profit will be for victims of domestic violence or for literacy or hunger. I don’t know yet. I just think it’s important to help people who can’t help themselves. Being concerned about those issues is something that I learned at PCCC,” said Gonzalez. “I’m inspired by people who use their money to do good.”