Bright Futures Ahead: Get to Know Three Recent RVCC Grads


Bright Futures Ahead: Get to Know Three Recent RVCC Grads

Monday, June 17, 2024
Bright Futures Ahead: Get to Know Three Recent RVCC Grads

Raritan Valley Community College recently held its 2024 Commencement, awarding degrees and certificates to nearly 1,200 graduates. 
Today, we’re celebrating Raritan Valley Community College graduation 2024 by introducing you to three impressive grads with bright futures in their respective areas of study. Hear about their exciting transfer plans and learn what they liked best about the RVCC experience. Without further ado, let’s meet Nicholas, Sandra, and Shelton!

Nicholas Gallo

RVCC Degree
Associate Degree in Liberal Arts

Transferring To
Rutgers University, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, to pursue a degree in Urban Planning and Design

Career Goal
To work in urban planning in either the private or public sector.
The way humans develop the places we live in fascinate me and I hope to move us to a more sustainable and less car-centric world.

Campus Involvement 

  • Vice President of the Student Government Association 
  • Secretary of the RVCC school newspaper, The Record
  • Chair for the RVCC RVotesMatter Campaign
  • Alumni Representative to the RVCC Board of Trustees 

Honors and Accomplishments

  • Presidential Volunteer Service Award
  • Pray Family Center Service Learning Leadership Award
  • ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll

Why I Love RVCC
When I came to RVCC, I found the academics much more interesting and the faculty much more supportive than expected. The Student Life and Service Learning Departments radically transformed me from someone who just went to school to someone who was involved in my community and civic life.”

A Lasting Impact
“My experience at RVCC allowed me to rapidly develop leadership and many other skills that will help me for the rest of my life. I am deeply glad I made the decision to attend.”

Discover More About Liberal Arts at RVCC
What are some options for what to do with a liberal arts degree? Part of RVCC’s Humanities and Social Sciences career pathway, a liberal arts degree provides an educational foundation that prepares you for positions of leadership, service to your community, and professional pursuits in numerous fields. This could include publishing, writing, editing, library science, psychology, higher education, government, and beyond. Learn more about earning a liberal arts associate degree at RVCC.

Sandra Faragalla

RVCC Degree
Associate Degree in Communications and Media Studies

Transferring To
Rutgers University

Career Goal
To become a communications specialist focusing on strategic communication and media relations.

Campus Involvement 

  • RVCC Activities Board 
  • Student Government Association 
  • RVCC Christian Ministry 
  • National Honor Society of Leadership and Success
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
  • Student Worker in Admissions
  • Orientation Leader and First Year Registration Representative
  • Volunteer Work at the RVCC Resource Center 

“Campus life is vibrantwith numerous clubs and organizations providing ample opportunities for involvement and personal growth. My fellow students are diverse and inspiring, each bringing unique perspectives that have enriched my college experience.

Honors and Accomplishments

  • Sanofi Corporate Mentorship Program
  • Raritan Promise Scholarship
  • Axel Velden Scholarship
  • Lions Pride Scholarship
  • Foundation Student Representative
  • Middle States Committee Student Representative
  • Business Honor Society
  • Engage NJ Kasselman Fellowship Member and Student Speaker

Why I Love RVCC
What I like best about RVCC is the supportive and inclusive community and atmoshere. The faculty members are not only knowledgeable but also genuinely invested in the success of their students. From the moment I first visited the campus, it felt like love at first sight. While people often say that students choose the university, in my case, it feels like RVCC chose me.”

A Lasting Impact
“As a first-generation college student and the oldest in my family, I have benefited immensely from the excellent academic programs, gained practical experience through various leadership roles, and developed a strong network of peers and mentors. I am beyond grateful to have attended RVCC.” 

Discover More About Communication Studies at RVCC
Wondering what to do with a communications degree? Programs in Communication and Media can get you on your way to a variety of careers in places such as digital media production, public relations, journalism, social media, marketing, corporate communication, copywriting, radio and television broadcasting, and more. Learn more about earning a communications associate degree at RVCC.

Shelton Hightower

RVCC Degree
Associate Degree in Theatre Arts and Digital Film Production Certificate

Transferring To
Montclair State University, BFA Acting Honors Program 

Career Goal
To become a professional theatre and television leading actor, who changes the world for the better of all humanity through positivity and productivity.

Campus Involvement 

  • Men of Color Collective (MCC) 
  • Black Student Alliance (BSA) 
  • Stage Crew for RVCC DanceWorks and other stage productions
  • 32nd Annual Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards
  • RVCC Inaugural Film Festival

Honors and Accomplishments

  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
  • National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS)
  • Dean's List
  • President's List
  • Honors Graduate for Excellence in Theatre
  • Branchburg Rotary Club Veterans Scholarship 
  • Kente Ceremony Keynote Speaker

Why I Love RVCC
“I loved the diverse community of staff and students at RVCC. The staff and faculty always made me feel like a priority and offered consistent help in areas where I needed assistance. Each one of my professors is a huge part of my success by challenging me to exceed my own high expectations, and by always holding me accountable for my actions and responsibilities.”

A Lasting Impact
“Overall, my tenure at RVCC was all benefit and no detriment. I won big in making the decision to attend RVCC to earn my AA degree, and 87 transferable college credits. I am forever grateful for my time at RVCC, and I extend my highest praises to the faculty and institution.”

Discover More About Theatre Arts at RVCC
The Art and Design pathway at RVCC is a great match for those who enjoy the expressive power of music, dance, theatre, and the visual image. If you’re interested in what to do with a theatre arts degree, check out RVCC’s theatre arts associate degree program.

Become the Next RVCC Success StoryAttend Our Summer Open House!

Join us on Thursday, July 18 for the Raritan Valley Community College Summer Open House. Held from 4-6 pm, this in-person event offers a chance for prospective students to explore RVCC’s academic and career programs, tour the campus, and get answers to common questions like: “How many credits to graduate college will I need?” and “How do I apply for financial aid?” Register here.

The RVCC Difference

If you’ve been researching “schools near me,” you know there are an overwhelming number of options throughout New Jersey. Rest assured that Raritan Valley Community College is the best choice!

RVCC is ranked the #1 community college in NJ by and The College offers more than 90 degree and certificate programs, small class sizes, affordable tuition, a vibrant campus life, and more.

Apply today or visit https://www.raritanval.e