Two Students Named to All-State Academic Team


Two Students Named to All-State Academic Team

Wednesday, May 4, 2022
mike mcdonough, sangeetha and aaron fichtner

Raritan Valley Community College students Connie Looi of Hillsborough and Sangeetha Punnam of Bridgewater are among the 38 New Jersey community college students who are being honored by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges for being named to the 2022 New Jersey All-State Academic Team.

The students—who are being celebrated for their outstanding academic achievements and exceptional service to their communities and colleges as members of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges—were honored at the New Jersey Community College Scholars Celebration, held April 28 at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.

“These students truly exemplify the true power of community colleges. The New Jersey All-State Academic Team members have worked incredibly hard to become the state’s very best community college students. They have remarkable stories and serve as an inspiration to all,” said NJCCC President Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D.

“They have become leaders on their college campuses and have contributed to their communities in myriad ways,” said NJCCC Chair Mary Zimmermann. “As we emerge from the pandemic, New Jersey community college students continue to prove their perseverance and achieve.”

In addition, RVCC student Sangeetha Punnam was selected to the 2022 All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by Cengage, Phi Theta Kappa, and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).  She is one of 20 of the nation’s top community college students to receive this honor. The All-USA Academic Team members are recognized for being high-achieving college students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society.

Connie Looi and Sangeetha Punnam also were among eight New Jersey community college students recognized by Phi Theta Kappa and the Coca-Cola Foundation with scholarships as part of the USA All-State Academic Team competition. Team members were nominated by their college administrators based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service. As part of this honor, Looi received a Coca-Cola Gold Scholarship and Punnam received a New Century Transfer Pathway Scholarship.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges provides statewide leadership for the advancement of New Jersey community colleges, performs coordinating responsibilities as required by law, and coordinates statewide efforts to build a skilled workforce and improve student success. For additional information, visit

Ranked by and 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 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


[Photo caption]: Raritan Valley Community College student Sangeetha Punnam of Bridgewater, center, is joined by RVCC President Michael J. McDonough, left, and NJCCC President Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D., at the New Jersey Community College Scholars Celebration, held April 28 at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.


May 4, 2022

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

PR #125