RVCC President Receives Award from International Honor Society

Monday, February 24, 2020
photo of front of college with shadow under arches

Dr. Michael McDonough, President of Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, is being honored nationally for his work supporting student success. Dr. McDonough is one of only 13 college presidents in the country—and the only president from a New Jersey college—to receive the Shirley B. Gordon Award from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. The international honor society represents students in two-year colleges.

Dr. McDonough will be honored at the society’s annual convention, to be held April 2-4 in Grapevine, Texas.

According to Phi Theta Kappa, “These awards are given to college presidents who have shown strong support of student success on their campus by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high achieving students at their colleges…. The Shirley B. Gordon Award is Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious award for community college presidents.”

Dr. McDonough was nominated for the award by Alpha Epsilon Pi, RVCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, for his ongoing support of both its Honors in Action (HIA) and College projects. The chapter members launched the projects last summer and will continue working on them through the Spring Semester.

“We are honored that Dr. McDonough is being recognized on a national level for his longstanding efforts in support of RVCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Dr. McDonough’s collaborative work with the chapter and its initiatives helps bring recognition, awareness, and accessibility to the society. He encourages students to continuously challenge themselves in support of their goals, focusing on service, leadership, and scholarship,” said Dr. Deborah E. Preston, RVCC Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The honor society’s HIA Project addresses real-world challenges in the community through a combination of academic research, problem solving, and action-oriented service. RVCC’s Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter is focusing on how climate change affects mental health. The chapter’s goal is to educate the community about this issue and provide people with ideas to alleviate the negative effects of climate change.

Alpha Epsilon Pi’s College Project is designed to establish a supportive relationship between the chapter and the College administration. RVCC’s project focuses on increasing students’ academic success through tutoring and raising funds to help students purchase textbooks. The College Project also includes offering provisional membership to students who are interested in Phi Theta Kappa’s academic and service missions, yet they don’t meet requirements regarding grade point average and number of college credits.

The Shirley B. Gordon Award is named in honor of the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors Chair and a founder and long-time President of Highline Community College in Washington.

About Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more at www.ptk.org

About RVCC
Ranked by WalletHub.com and Niche.com as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to a Planetarium, Science Education Institute and 3M Observatory; a 1,000-seat Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, small business assistance through the Small Business Development Center, and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.



February 24, 2020

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #89