African American students honored during awards night

Students of African descent were celebrated for their academic proficiency at the Cosumnes River College Recital Hall “Scholars in the Making” event on Feb. 29.
Student personnel assistant for Extended Opportunity Programs and Services Aujonique Dismukes moderated the 19 Annual Honors & Awards night ceremony honoring Black History Month.

The event started with music professor Omari Tau leading the audience in singing the Black National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing.” The recital hall was filled with the voices of many singing in unison.
Lenora Collins, a film & theater arts major, performed an original spoken word poem that she wrote herself.
Calvin Monroe, a former CRC student and keynote speaker for the night, said that people should be proud of themselves for their daily achievements and not wait to celebrate once every year.

“The energy you put out is the energy you receive,” Monroe said.
He spoke about the differences between a student and a scholar. He said that a student simply just absorbs, stores and regurgitates information. He said that a scholar, however, will do all these things, create their own opinion and explain why they think that way.
“Do not deny yourself when studying,” Monroe said as he gave out study tips.
He showed the audience some inspiring Instagram accounts that he follows and encouraged students to make music playlists made specifically for them to use while studying.

As his presentation came to an end, the students who completed six or more units with a cumulative 3.0 or higher grade point average in the Fall semester of 2017 were brought on stage to receive a certificate by EOPS counselor Denise Marshall Mills.
“The guy that came up and did the presentation, he was inspiring and motivational,” said Malisha Blakes, a 45-year-old sociology major and one of the honorees. “I’m glad they even had this ceremony.”
A’leah Jones, a 21-year-old photography and ethnic studies major, attended the ceremony and reception with her family.
“I thought it was great,” said Jones. “It’s very motivating that CRC is such a diverse place. Maybe we could go a little smoother next year, but this was fantastic.”

Semira Deneke, a 36-year-old human services and drug & alcohol counseling major, was another honoree that was being celebrated that night.
“I love it,” Deneke said. “I don’t even know I had a 3.0. It feels good. I’m not done yet, but I feel accomplished. I wish they have more photographers at next year’s event.”

Marybeth Carranza, a 24-year-old communications major, stood outside the recital hall after the event was over to help attendees find their way to the cafeteria.
“I think this event is great because it celebrates black excellence,” said Carranza. “It also proves that beyond the race issues, that there are academic scholars everywhere.”

The event’s main purpose was to recognize and honor students and to spread the positive message about Black History Month.
“I loved the event because it gave me a big sense of community,” said Jalen Campbell, an 18-year-old biology major and honoree. “It’s great to have that feeling that there are other people on campus like you. I really liked the speakers and the fact that they came from CRC,” said Campbell.