Woodbridge Student Named to National Community College Academic Team

Christina Freund

EDISON — Christina Freund, a student at Middlesex County College, has been named a Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze scholars nationally, and providing nearly $187,500 in stipends annually. The program is in partnership with Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges.

Silver Scholars each receive a $1,250 stipend and a special medallion. All Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Scholars were included in the April 11 issue of “USA Today.”


Freund, who is graduating in May, is the co-president of the Middlesex chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. She is also attending the college on an NJ STARS scholarship, which covers tuition and fees at community college for those students who graduate in the top 15 percent of their high school class.

“Christina and her PTK co-president, Lisa Kaiser, really took charge of this organization and did a great job,” said Professor James Keller, one of the advisors. “They showed excellent leadership skills and really got things done.”

Freund is majoring in education and plans to transfer to Kean University after she graduates. She hopes to become an elementary school teacher and then a principal.

Leah Ghiradella, another PTK advisor, said Freund has been an excellent student and chapter president.

“Christina is an extremely organized, efficient leader and very dedicated to Phi Theta Kappa,” Ghiradella said. “Due to a vacancy, she took over the secretary position while also being president. She has represented our chapter at regional and international conventions and has done a great job. We’re very happy she’s receiving the award.”

Freund will be honored at Phi Theta Kappa Day in Trenton on May 5. She, along with Middlesex student Farah Manzoor, will be among Phi Theta Kappans from across the state honored as New Jersey All-USA Academic Team members. Freund joins David Seale of the County College of Morris, Alec Moran and Colleen Roberts of Brookdale, and James Olivola of Bergen Community College on the national list.

The selection was made by an independent panel of judges who considered outstanding academic rigor, grade point average, academic and leadership awards, and engagement in college and community service.

Rod Risley, executive director of Phi Theta Kappa, thanked the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for its support.

“Their support is especially welcome during this challenging economic climate, as more and more community college students need additional resources to help them complete their degrees,” he said.

J. Mark Davis, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, said, “The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges. We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,270 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus many foreign countries. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 125,000 students inducted annually.

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