MANCHESTER, Conn. (May 22, 2018) – Manchester Community College has announced the Class of 2018 recipients of the Regional Advisory Council and President’s Student Awards. Alexandra N. Norton, of Bolton, is the Regional Advisory Council Award winner and the President’s Student Award goes to Kevin E. Rodriguez Oblitas, a Manchester resident.
The Regional Advisory Council Award honors a graduating student who has given outstanding service to the college, whether through community service, on-campus activities or all-around service to the community.
Norton will be honored at the college’s annual Academic Awards Ceremony, May 23, in the SBM Charitable Foundation Auditorium. A homeschooled student, Norton enrolled in MCC at the age of 13 and matriculated at 14. She has been deeply engaged on MCC’s campus with both faculty and peers. She is the youngest student to serve as an officer for the Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Upsilon Alpha chapter. She also serves as treasurer of The Newman Club, a campus group based in the tenets of the Roman Catholic faith that acts as a vehicle for social welfare activities for the community — a club she was instrumental in bringing back to campus. In addition to her work at MCC, Norton has volunteered her time to service projects such as Rebuilding Together and the Friendship Center Soup Kitchen.
She has continued to balance her academic obligations while working as an intern at a veterinary practice and as a math tutor in the campus math lab. In addition to receiving this year’s Regional Advisory Council award for outstanding community service, Norton is a 4.0 medallion recipient and will graduate on May 24 with an associate degree in Liberal Arts and Science. She plans to continue her education to become a veterinarian.
The President’s Student Award, which will also be presented tomorrow night at the awards ceremony, honors a student who has made exceptional efforts in their lives or has shown unusual perseverance in spite of difficulties, obstacles and challenges.
Rodriguez Oblitas moved to the United States from Argentina at the age of 22 to help care for his grandmother. Knowing that he did not want to go through life struggling with a language barrier, he enrolled in ESL classes to learn the English language. After tackling this first obstacle, his passion for learning grew, and he found himself drawn to education as a way to give back to others, especially his grandmother who had been providing economic and emotional support for him.
Since enrolling at Manchester Community College in Summer 2015, Rodriguez Oblitas has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, serving as co-vice president of membership. He recently became an American citizen. He has maintained a 3.9 GPA and, in addition to his academic achievements, has been actively engaged in community service. He organized a school supply drive for children in Peru, and has participated several service learning and campus activities at MCC. Rodriguez Oblitas hopes to continue his education with the ultimate goal of earning a master’s degree in a law-related field.
Norton and Rodriguez Oblitas will also both be recognized at MCC’s 54th annual Commencement Exercises. The ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bicentennial Band Shell on the campus lawn.