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Jessica Cortese ’08 Named MCC’s Alumna of the Year

Jessica Cortese, a 2008 graduate, was named the 2016 Alumna of the Year for Contributions to the College, its Alumni Association or its Foundation. The award was presented during Celebration Day, an annual event that also honors College employees reaching milestone service anniversaries, and two Outstanding Service to the College award winners.

Ms. Cortese was a student in Project Connections, a program that provides college-able students with learning disabilities with academic and other support so they can succeed.

“My gratitude and involvement with MCC never faltered,” she said as she accepted the award. “It is because of the people here, in this room, and the students outside these walls that I am standing here today. I would like to thank Middlesex County College for shaping the person that I am today: academically, personally and socially. I would like to specifically thank Project Connections for helping me find my autonomy.”

After graduating from MCC, Ms. Cortese transferred to The College of New Jersey where she earned a dual Bachelor’s Degree in English and Women and Gender Studies. She earned her Master’s Degree from TCNJ, graduating with a 3.95 grade point average.

Ms. Cortese is very active in the community. She is the treasurer of the Human Relations Council of Plainsboro, which addresses the social needs of the community and plans events that celebrate Plainsboro’s diversity. A trustee of MCC’s Alumni Association Board, she participated in the Association’s Habitat for Humanity building project last summer, volunteered at MCC’s 50th Anniversary Community Day Celebration, and, for the past two years, has entertained guests as “Lady Luck” at the MCC Foundation’s Casino Night events.

Awards were also presented to two individuals for Outstanding Service to the College. Judy Robinson was presented the award for staff and Patricia Cardinale for administrators.