The Students of the Distinction committee named Scott Begneski and Russell Hillabrand as the 2017 Distinguished Students of the Year at the annual Students of Distinction awards ceremony on Friday, May 12.
Begneski served as the 2015-2016 Inter-Club Council President and the 2016-2017 Student Trustee for Fullerton College. He plans to attend UC Davis to pursue a degree in civil engineering.
“I’m absolutely a proud mom,” said Lorna Gatti, mother of Begneski, “I’m glad that he’s really happy about his education and pursuing his career.”
“For the past three years I was on the other side of this ceremony volunteering and hearing everyone’s stories,” explained Hillabrand, “It’s really amazing to be a part of this entire ceremony.”
Hillabrand will be transferring to Pomona College, one of the five prestigious Claremont Colleges, with a full-ride scholarship.
After the 20 students were publicly recognized, the 2017 “Faculty Wives Scholarship” was awarded to Kassandra Flores, Vice President of Finance for Associated Students, for being the top woman selected as a student of distinction.
A total of 20 students were awarded scholarships in four main achievement categories: academic, competitive, personal, and service.
The recipients were introduced by various professors and faculty members with a heartwarming speech and were presented special student of distinction stoles before the students gave short speeches themselves.
“It is a true honor to be a student of distinction” said Gilbert Contreras, Vice President of Student Services, “Whether it be for academic, personal, competitive or service, they represent the best and the brightest of what Fullerton College offers our community, this state and the nation.”
Students were first nominated for the scholarship by faculty members who believe the student displayed qualities of individuality, distinctiveness, integrity, honor and excellence.
Of the many nominations, a rigorous selection process selected only 20 students as exemplary and distinguished students.
The selection process for the students of distinction consisted of four selection committees each responsible for one of the categories that made up the scholarship. Each committee comprised of one manager, two faculty, one classified staff, and one student representative.
Listed below are the 2017 Students of Distinction and the committee members.