Arapahoe Community College (ACC) students Armando Astorga, Janaye Culton, McKenna Curran, Morgan Fechter, Billy Richards, Janelle Schwarting and Ryan Wade were all honored on Wednesday afternoon, April 12, at the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Student Excellence Awards Ceremony.
Armando Astorga (Rising Star) began attending ACC in August 2020 in pursuit of his Associate of Arts degree in Psychology. He currently works as a student co-lead in TRIO Student Support Services, as well as at CAVA. Armando also assists with Student Life activities at ACC. He plans to graduate from ACC in the fall of 2023 and transfer into a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Armando aspires to work in a school setting as an on-site counselor/therapist for at-risk youth. A native of Englewood, Armando is a graduate of Colorado’s Finest High School of Choice.
Janaye Culton (Rising Star) is completing her Associate of Applied Science degree (Medical Laboratory Technology) and plans to begin ACC’s RN-BSN Nursing Completion Program in the fall of 2023. She has received recognition from Phi Theta Kappa for serving as an International Campaign Manager and is currently working on an Honors Research Project. Janaye’s PTK Service-Learning Designation is nearly complete, and she has received PTK medals for Chapter Officer, Chapter President and Regional Officer. She also received a letter of commendation for qualifying for the President’s List (4.0 term GPA). A third-generation nurse, Janaye is a member of the Colorado Council of Black Nurses (CCBN Inc.), serving as the Chair of CCBN’s Publicity and Social Media Committee. She also received the CCBN's Dr. Bernard F. Gipson, Sr. Nurse Science Scholarship (2018). Janaye, who received the COSI Foundation Scholarship in the fall of 2022, previously earned her Medical Assistant Diploma from Concorde Career College, as well as her Qualified Medication Administration Personnel (QMAP) and CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) from ACC. She recently completed an internship at Children’s Hospital Colorado Anschutz and will begin another at Sky Ridge Medical Center in May 2023. Janaye is a peer tutor at ACC, as well as the owner of Culton’s Corner and a private contractor for Mile High Consultants. She is actively involved with supporting disability access services throughout her community and serves on the Board of Directors for The THRIVE Center. Janaye hopes to obtain her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP; specializing in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology) and aspires to run her own practice. Janaye grew up in Parkhill and graduated from Overland High School in Aurora.
McKenna Curran (PTK All-Colorado Academic Team) began attending ACC in August 2021 in pursuit of an Associate of Applied Science degree in Commercial Photography. During her time at ACC, she has earned recognition on the Dean’s List (3.5 term grade point average) and the President’s List (4.0 term grade point average). McKenna, who is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and ACC’s Sigma Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, interned at Denver Pet Pics in the fall of 2022. A native of Denver (Denver South High School), McKenna aspires to become a professional animal photographer (specializing in conservation imagery).
Morgan Fechter (PTK All-Colorado Academic Team) will graduate from ACC with her Associate of Applied Science degree in Multimedia, Graphic Design and Illustration (MGDI) in May of 2023. Morgan, who first attended ACC in 2008, resumed classes in the spring of 2021. A member of both the National Society of Leadership & Success (NSLS) and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies, she has qualified for the President’s List (4.0 term grade point average) in each of the past four semesters and was the 2022 AIGA Design Slam winner. She completed her Graphic Design Internship for ACC in the summer of 2022 and has earned multiple scholarships at ACC, including the ACC Foundation Scholarship - Douglas County (General), the ACC Foundation Scholarship - Arapahoe County, the ACC Foundation Scholarship - CPP Displaced Worker, the Castle Rock Rotary Scholarship, and the Career Forward Scholarship. Morgan plans to continue her education at MSU Denver (bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design) and aspires to one day become a toy packaging & product designer at Hasbro.
Billy Richards (PTK All-Colorado Academic Team) will graduate from ACC in May 2023 with his Associate of Science transfer degree in Computer Science. He enrolled at ACC in the fall of 2021 and has earned recognition on the President’s List (4.0 term grade point average). A peer tutor and a member of ACC’s Sigma Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, Billy has earned the President’s Scholarship and the ACC Foundation Scholarship. A native of Castle Rock (Rock Canyon High School), he plans to transfer to Colorado School of Mines to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and aspires to become a software engineer, developing video game technology or working with virtual/augmented reality.
Janelle Shannon Schwarting (Inclusive Excellence Champion) began her studies at ACC (Associate of Arts – Psychology Transfer Major) in the spring of 2022 and plans to graduate in December 2023. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and serves as the Vice President of Membership for ACC’s Sigma Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Janelle, who hails from Denver (Rangeview High School), also works as a Lead Peer Mentor for ACC’s TRIO Student Support Services program. A volunteer for Food Bank of the Rockies during the Thanksgiving and holiday seasons, she plans to transfer to CU Denver in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree and aspires to one day become a child psychologist.
Ryan Wade (PTK All-Colorado Academic Team) began attending ACC in January 2021 in pursuit of an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Automotive Service Technology. The winner of the ACC Mountain Mover Award (2022), Ryan has qualified for the President’s List (4.0 term grade point average) for four consecutive semesters and is a member of the NSLS and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies. He is the recipient of multiple scholarships at ACC, including the 2022 Lockheed Martin Vocational Scholarship, the 2021 Colorado Motorsport Hall of Fame Scholarship, the 2023 Stone Family Foundation Scholarship, the First Generation Scholarship, the NSLS Foundation Scholarship, a COSI Scholarship, and the 2021-22 Colorado Space Grant Consortium Scholarship. Ryan, who will graduate from ACC in May 2023, plans to transfer into Regis University to enroll in the accelerated masters dual-degree program in Applied Psychology with a minor in Business Administration. He aspires to utilize applications of psychology to assist businesses with retention and customer experience. Ryan also hopes to one day operate his own consulting firm and auto repair shop.