Congratulations to our Students of Distinction 2022 Winners!

Download the Program PDF here: CLICK HERE


Madison DeVries

My name is Madison DeVries. I am a Political Science and Foreign Language (German) major at Fullerton College. During my time at FC, I was honored to serve in our student government, tutor my peers, and lead student clubs. As I move to the next stages of my life, I am grateful for every professor and peer who supported me on this journey. Finally, I can not thank my parents and siblings enough for always standing by me as I navigated the many exciting elements of Fullerton College.

Brianna Haro

I am a first-generation Native American/Mexican college student who was once a high school dropout. I never imagined that I would ever step foot in a college, let alone be graduating as a straight “A” student. My time at Fullerton College has been tough and challenging at times, but also extremely rewarding and memorable. These memories will always be cherished.

Jessica King

Jessica King is a lifelong learner that strives to explore her passions in literature and linguistics. As she begins her next academic journey at California State University, Long Beach, she aims to dual-major in creative writing and comparative literature before pursuing a local graduate program in creative writing. Fullerton College has provided her the opportunities to debut as a spoken word poet and begin her poetry collections addressing childhood trauma and domestic abuse. She contributes much of her personal, academic, and emotional growth to the campus’s faculty, staff, and students, especially in the English department.

Demetrice Parks

It’s impossible to describe what I’ve become without mentioning Fullerton College because Fullerton is a part of my identity. I was a lost soul traveling through space and time, living in a constant cycle of repetitiveness and despair. In 2020, the world was in chaos, my brother had passed away from Covid complications and I knew I had to make a change. Life called and said that I needed to get an education. I did, and at the end of this semester, I’m graduating from Fullerton and Cypress college with 8 degrees (6 Fullerton). Fullerton College will always hold a special place in my heart because I found myself through my Ethnics Professors and their courses. I was able to get a sense of belonging, awareness, and an understanding of who I was and where my life’s journey was going to take me. Fullerton College saved me, and I’m thankful. I will continue to soar in life, just like a Hornet. Once a Hornet, always a Fullerton Hornet!


Dat Tran

I am an international student from Viet Nam. I graduated from a high school in Santa Ana and started my studies at Fullerton College right after. I am a Psychology major who is on the pre-med track, thus, my coursework so far has been very multidisciplinary and I enjoy it a lot. My favorite subjects are Psychology and Biology. Outside of class, I am a student leader and a queer activist.


Patricia Wong

My name is Patricia Wong and I am completing my third year at Fullerton College. I am currently studying for an associate’s degree in biology and chemistry. Attending Fullerton College and serving as a STEM tutor fostered my academic confidence and success. With the support from the faculty and the countless opportunities, I have created meaningful relationships and learned enlightening lessons that would help me succeed in the future.

Angelica Castelli

I may not be a student with a perfect grade point average, but instead a journey of personal growth in becoming a college student. Yet here I am, a running student who was allowed to experience college at age 25 and now graduating at age 33. Here I am reflecting on my path through Fullerton College, an institution that embraced me and welcomed me with open arms as a friend would, and now wishing me farewell as I embark on a new path filled with opportunities for more growth.

Tina Cruz

Back to school after 20+ years. I raised my family, now I get to finish what I started. I went back to school to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I am a Sociology major, applying the lessons I’ve learned over the years, both in school and out of it. I approach every class as an opportunity to gain new information, grow my brain, and greet new and interesting people.
My post-FC goals are to attend a local CSU or UC, earn my degree(s) and then pursue graduate school. Eventually, I hope to teach at the collegiate level, but time will tell. I have learned to plan loosely and readjust positively. What is around the corner? I have an idea, but I’m not completely sure. And that is part of the fun.

Kiara Reyes

As a student in higher education who is a part of underrepresented communities, Kiara Reyes has acquired the skills to advocate for herself as well as other students at Fullerton College. Through her time as a student, she’s been able to be a leader through Hornets Tutoring and Alpha Gamma Sigma. Kiara is excited to transfer to a Cal State University upon completion of her AA-T’s in Communication Studies and Journalism. She is immensely grateful for all of the support that she’s received from the faculty and staff at Fullerton College. Once a Hornet, Always a Hornet!

Alyssa Sanchez

At the age of 15, I became the first in my Mexican-American family to become a dual enrollment student and be active on my college campus. My main goal was to increase my knowledge and overcome the fears that I would “not succeed academically after high school,” but I accomplished much more than I believed. I enrolled in my first class during the summer and fell in love with the idea that I take control of what I wanted to learn and construct my path. After many 7 am classes, five-hour classes, numerous health hardships, three family losses, club positions, and failures, my mindset has shifted to a prudent one during my years at Fullerton College. I am an ambitious, creative, loyal, and energetic student navigating life with the purpose to give back to my community by volunteering and becoming an individual that is representing her minority ethnicity.

Jordan Siratt

My name is Jordan Siratt, and I am a proud member of the Teacher Pathway Program, the Promise Program, and Hornets Tutoring. Education as a whole has allowed me to thrive in every aspect of my life. It is my biggest hope that I can inspire others to find their passion and achieve fulfillment. My journey through life has been treacherous, and yet I am grateful for every experience that I’ve been given.

Alice Ha-Kyung Yoon

I am a non-traditional student transferring with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies of Social Science and Science & Mathematics, with a 4.0 GPA at Fullerton College and a 3.25 overall GPA. My future plans involve transferring to a UC or out-of-state university majoring in International Relations with a concentration in Economics and Global Affairs. Although my academic journey has been a process fraught with many challenges, it’s provided me the springboard to developing my character beyond my comfort zone from my experience to joining Phi Theta Kappa’s Honor Society and taking on the President and Head Chair roles. After taking STEM courses such as Biotechnology, Chemistry to Calculus 2 – I realized that my ambitions to successfully acing the harder classes proved that I am capable of so much more than I had anticipated. At this pivotal juncture, of all the things that have transpired thus far, I am truly grateful for my invaluable experiences at Fullerton College, as I have learned and grown so much as an individual. I also wish to inspire others as a non-traditional student that obtaining an education at any age is achievable through hard work and perseverance. Therefore, I am excited to see where my intellectual pursuits and dreams lead as I am eager to see my future shine.

Ashley Bustamante

Being a student at Fullerton College has been a privilege for me. My professors, mentors, and administrative staff gave me a great accompaniment to take advantage of every opportunity this institution offers students. Fullerton College has helped me in my intellectual and personal growth in great measure. More than an educational institution, Fullerton College has been like a family.


Cindy Anahi Suarez

I wasn’t always at Fullerton College, right out of high school I actually attended Orange Coast College. I played as the starting goalkeeper in my freshmen season of soccer at OCC. Although this was a good opportunity, something didn’t feel right. I made the impulsive decision to transfer to Fullerton College. This has been my favorite decision I’ve made in my life. I immediately felt at home; making friends, relating to professors, making moves on the athletic teams. I was right where I belonged.


Malia Arpon

Malia Arpon is a Communication Studies major who has truly made her time at Fullerton College worthwhile. During her time here, she has been involved in numerous leadership organizations including Associated Students, the Office of Campus Communications, the Hornet student news outlet, and the Northern Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee, just to name a few. Malia’s passion for leadership and community has driven her to continue her studies at San Diego State University in the Fall. Her goal is to pursue a Communications degree alongside the Pre-Veterinary route for graduate school.

Sheree Brewster

I am a returning student to Fullerton College looking for a career change.  During my recent experience here I have had the pleasure of becoming involved on campus and in doing so have been able to share my passion for sustainability with my peers.  In an attempt to find a new way to manage my anxiety I have found a new passion for mindfulness and facilitating mindful practices.  Joining the AS Senate has been a highlight in my college experience here at Fullerton, and supporting student voices and effecting change has been rewarding.  The experience I have been allowed here in both giving back and making meaningful personal connections has aided in my growth as a person and I am privileged to have this opportunity.

Grant DeVries

My name is Grant DeVries, and I am a Mathematics and Political Science major receiving 5 Associates in Arts degrees and 1 Associate in Science degree. I have a passion for student government and have been actively involved as a student leader in Associated Students throughout my time at Fullerton College. My first semester at Fullerton College was when I was 14 years old, but despite my relatively young age, I will be graduating from both high school and community college at 18. Outside of my involvement on campus, I am an Eagle Scout and enjoy volunteering through scouts and my robotics team. Fullerton College has shaped who I am as a peer, mentor, leader, and student, and will define who I am as I step into the next phase of my life.

Kennedy DeVries

Kennedy DeVries is a Foreign Language and English major at Fullerton College. She will graduate with Honors and degrees in English and Foreign Language, as well as four Interdisciplinary Degrees. During her time at the college, she has served as the President of the French Club (Jan. 2019-Present), Vice President of Associated Student Senate (Aug. 2021-Present), an Associated Student Senator (Aug. 2019-May 2021), President of Ignite Fullerton College (Sept. 2021-Present), Vice President of German Club (Aug. 2019-Present), and a Hornets Embedded Tutor for the French program (Aug. 2020-Present). Kennedy has been at Fullerton College since she was 14 years old and will graduate from both high school and Fullerton College this May. Looking toward the future, she intends to acquire degrees in International Relations and French at a four-year school, before pursuing a career in foreign affairs.

Moises Lagunas Guerrero

Fall 2020 Student who decided to make Fullerton College his home to become certified in Personal Training. In his time here he joined the mindfulness community, became Vice President of the Mindfulness Club, and a Hornets Embedded Tutor for MIND 101, taught by Teacher of the Year, Deidre Hughes. His future as a personal trainer became clearer, thanks to Coach Sean Sheil and Coach Crystal Aguirre. True to his growth mindset he improved his singing thanks to Professor Moreno, his volleyball thanks to Professor Desmond, and his Mandarin Chinese thanks to Professor Chang. Last, but not least, he is grateful for the friends he made along the way Thomas Zhang, Kira Baker, Sheree Brewster, Sarah Kaump, Nathalie Sy, and the wonderful people in Student Life and Leadership. Moises exemplifies what it means to be Once a Hornet always a Hornet. He wishes his fellow Students of Distinction more than luck on their journey. 

Erin Lacorte

Erin Lacorte, is a non-traditional, post-baccalaureate student returning to college as a career changer taking prerequisite courses to meet the requirements of getting into medical school. Erin initially took classes at Cypress College but made Fullerton College their home. Since joining Associated students and being elected as Student Trustee for North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD), Erin has advocated for students, especially those who are marginalized. Erin also serves as an AS Senator and is currently the Chair of Curriculum and Education Committee and has served on many Standing Committees and College, District, and Other (CDO) committees throughout the college and district. Erin will be transferring to CSUSM in the fall to pursue a Pre-Health Certificate program in preparation for medical school and the MCAT.

Students of Distinction 2022

Each year twenty (20) students are honored and publicly recognized for their outstanding achievement at the Students of Distinction Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Student Life and Leadership. Each student who is selected to receive this prestigious award will receive a scholarship sponsored by Associated Students, Dr. Janet and Henry Emoto, Schlinger Students of Distinction, Fullerton College Faculty Wives, District Management Association (DMA), various donors from Fullerton College, and the Friends of the Fullerton College Foundation (funds may vary from year-to-year, depending on the availability of donations collected).

Students with the highest score overall from each category will be forwarded to the final selection committee, which will choose the final top two students who will each be awarded the “Distinguished Student of the Year” and will receive an additional scholarship. Additionally, Students of Distinction awardees will be given the opportunity to audition to be a student speaker for the annual Fullerton College Commencement ceremony. Only Students of Distinction are considered as student speakers for Commencement and it is a tradition and honor bestowed on each awardee.

*Fullerton College faculty, staff, and administrators who will be writing a letter of recommendation in support of scholarship applicants will be emailed a secure link to upload a confidential letter of recommendation directly to Student Life and Leadership.

For a PDF Version of this information, please click here.


Students at Fullerton College who display qualities of leadership, individuality, distinctiveness, integrity, honor, and excellence may apply for the prestigious Students of Distinction scholarship award in any of the following categories. Student scholarship applicant must submit one (1) letter of recommendation from Fullerton College faculty, staff, and/or administrators to be forwarded to the selection process. The student may compete in only ONE category and the student shall choose which category to compete in.

Each nomination category will have a selection committee of five individuals from Fullerton College campus constituent groups such as Faculty Senate, District Management Association, Classified Senate, and Associated Students.  A selection committee will choose five (5) deserving students who will each be designated as a Student of Distinction in each of following categories:

Academic Achievement

The student who competes in this category must have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 3.75 Cumulative GPA (High Honors in accordance to FC Graduation Requirements)
  • 27 units completed at Fullerton College at time of the nomination and shall be graduating and/or transferring by the end of Summer Session 2022 or completed a Certificate Program by the end of Summer Session 2022
  • Currently enrolled in credit classes at Fullerton College during Fall 2021 and/or Spring 2022
  • Not a previous Student of Distinction recipient
Competitive Achievement

The student who competes in this category must have shown and performed outstanding performance through competitions representing a team and/or group at Fullerton College and on behalf of the College, and meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 2.75 Cumulative GPA
  • 27 units completed at Fullerton College at the time of nomination and shall be graduating and/or transferring by the end of Summer Session 2022 or completed a Certificate Program by the end of Summer Session 2022
  • Currently enrolled in credit classes at Fullerton College during Fall 2021 and/or Spring 2022
  • Not a previous Student of Distinction recipient
Personal Achievement

The student who competes in this category must have persevered and successfully overcome severe hardships and challenges as a student at Fullerton College, and meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 2.75 Cumulative GPA
  • 27 units completed at Fullerton College at the time of nomination and shall be graduating and/or transferring by the end of Summer Session 2022 or completed a Certificate Program by the end of Summer Session 2022
  • Currently enrolled in credit classes at Fullerton College during Fall 2021 and/or Spring 2022
  • Not a previous Student of Distinction recipient
Service Achievement

The student who competes in this category must have performed significant service to the College and/or community through leadership activities and/or service work related to a recognized Fullerton College club and/or organization and meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA
  • 27 units completed at Fullerton College at the time of nomination and shall be graduating and/or transferring by the end of Summer Session 2021 or completed a Certificate Program by the end of Summer Session 2021
  • Currently enrolled in credit classes at Fullerton College during Fall 2021 and/or Spring 2022
  • Not a previous Student of Distinction recipient