May 24, 2018 Melissa Lamar

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Four Tunxis Community College students were recognized on May 15 as winners of a Civic Engagement Contest, sponsored by the college’s Civic Engagement Institute.

Tunxis students who participated in the contest were required to submit an essay describing their leadership and civic engagement accomplishments.

Rafaele Fierro, Ph.D., director of the Civic Engagement Institute, (second from left) presented the awards to Tunxis student winners (L to R) Eric Dougherty, Sarah Nichols, Kelli Parady and Sam Najarian.

The winners of the contest are:

• First Place, $300 cash prize:

Sam Najarian, of Southington, a dental hygiene student who has worked in the community providing dental cleanings and screenings to patients at health care centers and public schools.

• Second Place, $150 cash prizes:

Eric Dougherty, of Plainville. Dougherty tested water quality at a Navajo reservation in the southwest where past mining practices have led to higher levels of Uranium contamination in groundwater.

Sarah Nichols, of Bristol, who participated in the panel discussion “The Opioid Crisis” at Tunxis and spearheaded an effort to have signs placed on buses serving Bristol, Plainville and New Britain with messages of hope for those in addiction recovery.

• Third Place, $75 cash prize:

Kelli Parady, of Newington, is president of the student Veterans’ Club at Tunxis and spent time developing a scholarship for veterans and their family members.

The Tunxis Civic Engagement Institute is a campus organization committed to sharing knowledge and information for Tunxis students to become good citizens and neighbors. Besides civic engagement activities that occur in the classroom, the Civic Engagement Institute provides forums, guest speakers and other intellectual exchanges designed to generate ideas and help improve the lives of others. It receives funding from the Tunxis Student Government Association. For more information, contact Rafaele Fierro, Ph.D., at 860.773.1642, or [email protected]

From health and technology to liberal arts & sciences programs, Tunxis offers over 60 associate degrees and certificates, providing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that prepare students for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need. Tunxis is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington.