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On Friday, May 4, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education honored 29 outstanding students from the Commonwealth’s public colleges and universities, honoring one graduate from each community college, state university, and University of Massachusetts campus. Massasoit Community College’s winner is Elizabeth Apiche of Foxboro.

Born and raised in Kenya, Elizabeth enrolled at Massasoit in the fall of 2016 as a science student on a transfer pathway. She has has excelled in her classes, maintaining a 3.95 GPA while taking five, six, or even seven classes per semester. She is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and tutors for both the Academic Resource Center in writing and the Latch Academic Support Program in mathematics. She is also a member of the intensive STEM Internship Program. This fall, Elizabeth has been accepted and plans to attend Smith College. Her goal is to ultimately earn a doctorate and work as a chemist.

“Elizabeth is an impressive woman and has truly excelled in her time here at Massasoit,” said William Mitchell, interim president of Massasoit Community College. “We are proud to see Elizabeth honored for her hard work and academic excellence, and wish her well at Smith.”

As part of the ceremony, students are asked to name a faculty or staff mentor who has contributed to their success. Elizabeth chose to honor Maria Monteiro, an academic counselor in the Latch program. “Coming from Kenya, not knowing what to expect was challenging. Maria mentored me in my academic pursuits as well as helping me to become involved on campus,” said Elizabeth. “She saw something in me that I did not see in myself: a gifted student with brains and the ability to serve the campus community.”