Terra State announces winners of student recognition awards

(L-R): Christina Mari Cruz, Alexandria Maas, Alyha Herrera
(L-R): Christina Mari Cruz, Alexandria Maas, Alyha Herrera

Terra State Community College announced the 2021-2022 Student Recognition Award Winners during Commencement ceremonies on May 6.

Winners were recognized at both of the ceremonies. Categories and winners are:

Fremont Rotary Student of the Year – Chase Kerschner graduated from Terra State this May with his Associate of Applied Science degree in Music Technology and Recording Arts. He was recognized as student of the month in April 2021. Outside of classes, Kerschner was very active in performing music at various events around the College and Fremont. He has performed with many of the community ensembles, rallies for the College and at the Hayes Center Christmas Dinner Events and the downtown Fremont Farmers’ Market. Kerschner is taking the next steps toward becoming a sales engineer in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On the side, he is planning to continue writing his own music and start gigging around the area.

Leadership Award – Christina Mari Cruz, a criminal justice student, strengthened her leadership skills when she became the vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society (PTK). Her later PTK roles included PTK treasurer and president. Cruz credits PTK for helping her grow as a leader and bringing a positive focus to her career. She also has taken on many leadership roles in the surrounding area near her home in Toledo: involvement in the school board for Imagine Environmental Science Academy, where she was recently elected to vice president; and the Latins United nonprofit organization, doing volunteer work for their Veterans Day Ceremony and several holiday parties benefitting children. She says that these leadership roles in all of the organizations give her purpose and joy and help demonstrate that those who pursue law enforcement as a career care deeply about helping their communities.

Perseverance Award – Alyha Herrera, began her education at Terra State in 2014, but was overwhelmed by the passing of her grandfather, and stopped caring about school work and soon dropped out. She then transferred to a larger school but, after a couple of unsuccessful years, she moved home and stopped out. In 2019, she reapplied at Terra State and was encouraged by the College’s welcoming staff, who put her back on a path toward graduation. Deciding to be more active in the College, Herrera joined the music ensembles and started performing as the lead singer for school events such as the Titan Tough Rally, performing the National Anthem for the 2021 and 2022 Commencement and gigs out in the community. Herrera credits Terra State’s caring instructors for being instrumental to her success in earning her Associate in Individualized Study degree and certificate in General Business.

2021-2022 Student Commencement Speaker – Alexandria Maas, a phlebotomy student, has demonstrated leadership within her program; she volunteered at the COVID-19 testing and vaccination events on campus. Additionally, she has volunteered for her local fire department, nursing home and church. Maas believes that it is crucial, when communicating, to listen to the messages being sent through body language as well as the words being said. Maas will continue her studies at Terra State this fall to receive her Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting.

Student Organization of the Year: Terra State’s Medical Assisting Student Organization (MASO) has positively impacted its members and community this past year. MASO has collected and donated items for the Sandusky County Food Bank and Sandusky County Dog Warden. The students also fundraised and hosted a Halloween movie night for all Terra State students.