LaGuardia Community College | City University of New York
Click here to read more alumni success stories on the Alumni Transfers in Action page.
Wai (Kat) Y. Lam
Johns Hopkins University '16
Wai (Kat) Y. Lam is a student of Johns Hopkins University as a Biology Major and is part of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Honor Society at JHU.
"I would not have had such a rewarding experience at LaGuardia or transferred to my dream school Johns Hopkins if I did not join the Honors Student Advisory Committee (HSAC), the student arm of the Honors Program.
I learned about the Honors Program through my HSAC peers. In my honors classes , I learned tremendously from the honors professors who were passionate about the subject, and, from the honors students who brought different insightful ideas that made the classes interesting and thought-provoking. Supported by the Honors Program I attended national and regional conferences where I presented my research and received awards. In addition, HSAC offered me the platform to practice leadership and volunteerism. I worked with other HSAC members to plan and organize transfer workshops and community service trips and events.
I gained the inspiration, the recognition and the different skill sets that are necessary for becoming a well-rounded person, a transfer applicant and a future professional.
Given my transformative experience, I would say if you have the opportunity to be part of the honors community, commit to it. You will find yourself gaining the most by challenging yourself!"
2015 Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholar
Xavier recently graduated from LaGuardia and will be attending Columbia.
"The Honors Program completely changed my academic trajectory. My second semester I accidentally signed up for an honors course and I discovered students that were engaged with the material and a professor that was passionate and enthusiastic about the subject. However, this experience was only the beginning for me as I took other honor courses and even participated in honors conferences. Honors professors were integral not only to my success at LaGuardia but some even continue to be a part of my success after LaGuardia. The Honors Program also introduced me to HSAC and I became involved with its mission to help and inform all LaGuardia students about the many opportunities available to take honor classes and to transfer to top schools around the country. I was inspired by past HSAC members and what they accomplished and HSAC became my support system. This group of like minded individuals will be there for you along the way as you navigate your own transfer process and you will feed off each other to achieve more. If you have the opportunity to be a part of this community, do it! My involvement with the Honors Program and HSAC helped me to achieve life changing goals."
John Jay College of Criminal Justice '15
Connie Velasquez recently graduated from John Jay College and is now a Youth Advocate at Friends Of Island Academy Inc.
"As a member of the Honors Student Advisory Committee, I did not only benefit from taking Honors courses with students who demonstrated dedication, but also found support. You will be with a group of students who will guide you to accomplish your dreams and show you the right way to make those dreams a reality. You will learn the skills that will be constantly used at a four-year institution, and that will also help you for the rest of your life. Personally, this enriching and educational environment changed my perspective about life, and it taught me the importance of team work and respect."
Georgetown University '15
Alexis Perez is currently working at Swim Strong Foundation as a Summer Administrative Assistant
"The Honors Program classes are a dynamic space where minds meet to exchange ideas. You’re not fed information to store and regurgitate; you’re given the facts and expected to put the world in perspective and create your own truth. To say Honors classes are challenging because of the work load is a misstatement – they’re challenging because you take the seat of a scholar, roving, independent and accountable."
Lillian Zepeda is currently working for the New York City Council as a Director of Communications for Council Member Julissa Ferreras.
"There is a stigma that is glued to the words 'community college.' The stereotype of a community college education being of a lower standard compared to 4–year colleges and universities filters down to the assumption that community college students are not up to par. I was one of those victims of such stereotypes; I had a negative perception of community college and LaGuardia, but that all changed when I came across the transfer success stories of LaGuardia's Honors alumni. I was in complete shock when I realized that LaGuardia's Honors students had been accepted by and transferred to top-tier 4-year institutions and programs. I want to share a couple of pointers that can help you succeed and go wherever you want to go."
City College '13
Pepperdine University '16
Gabriel Lockwood is currently a personal & executive coach at Lockwood Coaching. He is also studying at Pepperdine University to obtain his masters in Organization Development.
"As an older student going back to school, I was extremely impressed with the intelligence, passion, and intellectual curiosity of my fellow honors students. The academic rigor of the courses and engaging interaction exceeded my expectations in every way. I was inspired by the professors, who all showed a passion not only for the subject matter, but also for the very act of teaching, of expanding our horizons and pushing us to excel. All this, coupled with the increased attention and opportunities for participation afforded by the smaller class size, made for a truly enriching experience both academically and personally."
Mount Holyoke ‘18
Architectural Studies Major
Kimberly Mota is a LaGuardia alumna who is currently attending at Mount Holyoke as an Architectural Studies Major.
"After taking a semester off from university, I transferred to LaGuardia Community College because I had heard about their extensive list of Honors course offerings as well as HSAC. I was eager to finish my first semester at LAGCC so that I could enroll in Honors courses and continue to challenge myself academically. I was not disappointed as I became immersed in a rigorous and stimulating environment. The small classroom size made the learning environment feel more intimate and always provided deep and invigorating class discussions. My academic career would not be the same without the Honors Program or the Honors Student Advisory Committee. It was through them and its collective of intelligent individuals as well as devoted advisors that guided me through my transfer process and opened the door to many life changing opportunities."
Sarah Lawerence '15
Michael Jefferson recently graduated from Sarah Lawerence.
"My involvement with the Honors Program came as a result of a mess-up with my financial aid situation, which led me to lose all my classes prior to the start of the Fall 2012 semester. I was then forced to sign up for two Honors classes because they fit my schedule. As angry as I was at this situation, it later proved to be the best mistake that could have ever happened to me! ... in the Honors Program you actually learn the material from professors who are highly passionate and expect much from their students. The goal is to prepare students for success at four-year institutions. These experiences, coupled with the unsurpassable support and opportunities afforded by HSAC, are truly unforgettable."
Smith College '16
Freda Raitelu is currently studying at Smith College and also works as an Ada Comstock Scholars Program House Coordinator at Smith College.
"If there is any advice I can offer my fellow peers at LaGuardia, it is to try and take full advantage of all of the amazing opportunities the college offers us to grow as both a scholar and individual. LaGuardia's Honors Program is one such example. Oftentimes, it can be quite mundane to attend class, maybe get some studying done on campus, and then shoot straight home. Understandably, there are many of us who have families, jobs, and other responsibilities, which may make it difficult to make time for extra-curricular activities on campus. By the same token, it is also understood that many of us have dreams and goals that exist beyond our lives at LaGuardia, and maximizing those opportunities might require a stretch beyond our comfort zone. But, as the great Frederick Douglass once stated, 'If there is no struggle, there is no progress.'”
Tremaine Wright recently graduated from NYU.
"The Honors Program at LaGuardia has been an integral part of my academic success. The differences in my academic career before becoming a member of the Honors Program and afterward are like night and day: the backing you receive from the Honors faculty is second to none, my peers and advisors in HSAC were always there to support me in my personal and scholarly growth, and the opportunities you receive as part of the Honors community are in abundance. Due to these three components, I would implore anyone to get involved and tap into this network; you are truly given the tools to mold yourself into a well-rounded intellectual who will succeed at the highest levels in life."
University of North Carolina '16
Anthony Salcedo is currently attending University of North Carolina.
"Whereas education is a human right and a privilege, the Honors Program at LaGuardia is an absolute luxury. I was surrounded by the best writers and critical thinkers LaGuardia had to offer, and their dedication and exceptionalism motivated me to push my limits and contemplate aspirations that I had previously believed to be beyond my reach. My peers, along with the Honors curriculum, fueled my desire for knowledge and understanding, which has since become insatiable."
Maria E. Acosta
SUNY Binghamton '13
Maria E. Acosta is currently an actuarial student at Milliman. She previously worked as an actuarial associate at PwC.
"One of the biggest advantages of being part of the Honors Program is having the opportunity to be in a classroom where every student is willing to learn rather than simply wanting to pass the class. Consequently, class discussions become energetic conversations focused on analyzing facts. And this is where learning becomes fun!"
Diana Youssef interned at the United Nations Language and Communications Program.
The Honors Program presented me with opportunities to challenge my intellect by engaging in valuable discussions with peers and academics who share the same passion for enlightenment. Graduating from the Honors Program not only reflects well on me, but is a testament of how hard I've worked, and how I am willing to take on challenges to excel in my career."
Georgetown University '14
Kevin Magana has worked at Teach America as a Corps member.
"First things first: LaGuardia's Honors Program is exceptional! From the moment you step into the classroom, you are immersed in an intellectual field fueled by your peers' and professors' love of knowledge. Your understanding of academic disciplines will deepen through intimate classroom discussions and debates, group projects, and challenging examinations. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT allow the prospect of a rigorous education deter you from starting this intellectual journey, for it is exactly this that will ignite imagination, fuel hunger, and embolden your dreams of what is achievable. Did I also mention the support network? Honors faculty members are the MOST dedicated individuals in empowering you to set and achieve high academic and professional goals. Join the Honors Program. Allow your psyche to flirt with radical transformation; you'll realize it to be the most significant investment during your stay at LaGuardia."
Sarah Lawrence College '13
Maria Munoz is currently a Client Services Associate at Facebook.
"Being an Honors student has allowed me to enroll in interesting classes that have exposed me to inspiring professors, ambitious students and life-changing experiences. I encourage other students to be part of the Honors Programs not only for the top-notch small classes that benefit them intellectually, but for the extensive network of students and mentors with whom they will be able to work closely as they set goals to be successful in their respective fields."
City College '12
Edgar Romero (LaGuardia '10) was the 2009-2010 International President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a 2009-2010 CUNY Malave Leadership Academy Fellow. Having completed the Honors Program Concentration, Edgar completed his undergraduate studies at City College, from which he graduated in 2012.
"I had always wanted to be in classes in which students engage with both the professor and other students. So, during my first semester, I found the Honors Program. An Honors class awakens one's intellectual curiosity; it is a place in which a question raised becomes an exciting discussion."
Columbia University '14
Tashdid Hasan is currently a Business Development Analyst at Turing Pharmaceuticals AG and previously worked for Business Development Analyst for Retrophin as a Business Development Analyst
"The Honors classes I took were more than just classes. In an Honors class, a student is a part of a focused and hardworking team. The combination of a dedicated team of students and inspiring teachers creates an energetic and engaging atmosphere in the classroom, which challenged me intellectually and pushed me beyond my comfort zone. The experience was both intellectually and academically rewarding. Through lively discussions and rigorous writing assignments in my eight Honors classes, I improved my thinking process and writing skills. Students are measured against a higher scale in Honors classes, so more is expected from them. This experience gave me confidence that I can meet the academic requirements of a four-year institution. Moreover, the friendships that I developed after a semester of intellectual discussions are worth cherishing.I would say take honors classes if you seek to satisfy your academic curiosity, make great friends and have some (academic) fun."
Luis K. Feliz
Amherst College '13
Luis K. Feliz (LaGuardia 09, Kaplan Educational Foundation Scholar) completed the Honors Concentration, and was accepted at Brown, Cornell, Sarah Lawrence, Reed, Bard and Swarthmore. He eventually chose to attend Amherst College, where he was a Schupf Scholar. Luis graduated from Amherst in 2013.
Luis tells us that "the professors in the Honors Program embody the rare mix between disciplined scholars and drill sergeants. Because of their belief that diligence breeds results, professors in Honors courses command authority and expect nothing but rigor from their students. You are challenged to substantiate your opinions and engage in lively colloquy. Expect nothing short of a transformative experience."
Georgetown University '10
"People often underestimate a community college education, but I think LaGuardia's Honors courses are just as demanding as some of the writing intensive courses here at Georgetown University. I am doing a double major in International Affairs and International Development, both of which require 500 pages of reading on an average week and a bunch of long research papers. The Honors Program at LaGuardia gave me an opportunity to not only challenge my Georgetown peers, but also a foundation for intellectual advancement. The Honors faculty work tirelessly one-on-one with their students to help them succeed. I benefited from all of the five honors courses that I had taken at LaGuardia. I dare you to take some Honors courses if you think that you are not merely a community college student, but a thinker and a doer of tomorrow! "
Sarah Lawrence College '12
"My Honors courses offered me an atmosphere where the subjects were engaging, the professors inspiring, and the peers insightful."
Brain Park is currently a Maintenance Compliance Engineer at Niagara Bottling and previously was a Manufacturing Development Program Fellow at Niagara Bottling.
"The classes that I took in the Honors Program helped me to prepare for the courseload at NYU-Poly. Furthermore, students are expected to learn more on their own than they are in most regular classes. The Honors Program has helped me to deal with the academic demands and expectations at a selective 4-year institution."
LaGuardia '09 - Math and Science
Cornell '12 - Biological Science
University at Buffalo '14 - Biochemistry MS
Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Present) -Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics - Biophysics, Ph.D (2019)
Sasheen Pottinger received her masters in Microbiology and Immunology at University at Buffalo, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Biophysics at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
"The Honors Program experience was priceless.I developed long-lasting friendships and strong problem-solving skills. I was challenged to think outside the box, to be respectful of different perspectives, and to always ask why. I developed the necessary tools that will steer me towards success at Cornell and beyond."
Aaron J. Hudson
Syracuse University '11
Aaron Hudson is currently working at JP Morgan Chase.
"The Honors course I took made me open my mind and eyes to life... We were held to a higher standard, and more was expected of us."
Dimitri Siavelis is currently an Associate Digital Strategist at Cambridge BioMarketing.
"Taking an Honors class was an exhilarating experience. Mingling with students after class for a literary conversation was the greatest plus to my learning. I loved the in-class discussions."
Columbia University '09
Rhazi Kone is currently working for the United Nations as a Public Information Officer.
"The Honors Program at LaGuardia has played and will continue to play a tremendous role in my academic path, my career and in my life. This remarkable program provides a great support system to its students, getting them ready for the most prestigious institutions of higher learning and for the great challenges of life."
University of Chicago Law School '13
Sihyun Kim is admitted to practice law in Illinois and has recently passed the New York State's bar exam. He is currently working as a staff attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affilates.
"There are already plenty of alumni stories here discussing the benefits of being held to higher standards and being surrounded by peers who share the passion for knowledge and intellectual growth. I’ll skip all that. In my view, the greatest benefit of being part of the Honors Program is the sense of belonging to a tight-knit community that stays with you even when you are several years removed from being a student at LaGuardia.
I wish that I understood much earlier the importance of networking; talking with those who came before you is an incredibly valuable resource as there is simply no reason for anyone to ever reinvent the wheel from scratch. Looking back, I remember feeling intimidated by all the uncertainties associated with not just the transfer process, but also my life after the Bachelor’s. As former students, we can all relate to the hopes, the ambitions, and even the anxieties of current students and are thus only happy to help whenever they reach out to us. And it is because of the Honors Program that current students can connect with former ones with ease; HSAC provides a concrete forum – whether it be a transfer workshop or alumni mentoring -- where networking becomes effortless and generally quite fun."
Brooklyn College '09
"I enjoyed the smart, dynamic and diverse group of students. This is the first time I saw smart, committed students focusing on the same topics and issues..."
King's College '08
Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholar
"Not that I undervalue regular courses, but for me, Honors courses gave me an opportunity to realize my strength as a student. The confidence that I gained and that the interest that was nurtured in an Honors class led me to my Master's Degree in Medieval Literature from King's College London. I have had many classroom moments when new insights left me awestruck, but I was never as alert and receptive as I was in the Honors classroom at LaGuardia."