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Celebrating MMC’s 2019 HEOP Graduates

May 16, 2019
  • The 2019 HEOP graduates with College leadership
Academic success, leadership awards, and more! The entire Marymount Manhattan community congratulates the 17 seniors in the College’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) who graduate this year.

The 2019 HEOP graduates include:

  • Jennifer Acevedo
  • Rita Castillo  
  • Carolin Diaz
  • Ken Duran
  • Madelin Gomez
  • Eneida Hernandez
  • Isatou Kebbeh
  • Danny Martinez Bastalla
  • Erick Matos  
  • Maria Mendez
  • Hager Moustafa  
  • Asmaa Omran
  • Deborah Rosario
  • Adrian Salvador
  • Emely Sandoval  
  • Yomira Taveras  
  • Edgar Tlapanco

In addition to their participation in this year’s Commencement exercises, a number of HEOP seniors were honored at the annual Senior Awards Ceremony on May 5 for their academic successes and contributions to MMC. 

The Eilene Bertsch Award, created to honor MMC’s HEOP founder, is given to a senior who embodies the program’s mission of demonstrating potential for academic success, while also contributing as a leader to the MMC community. This year’s winner is Studio Art major Emely Sandoval. Emely will be attending graduate school this fall at Hunter College.

Additional winners included;

  • Jennifer Acevedo, Silver M award and the Raymunde McKay Award of Distinction
  • Erick Matos, Silver M award 
  • Eneida Hernandez, Silver M award
  • Isatou Kebbeh, Interdisciplinary Study Honorable Mention and Silver M award
  • Rita Castillo, Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Gold Key

An intimate ceremony celebrating this year’s HEOP graduates was held on Wednesday, May 15, hosted by Program Director Harmony Cross. “In my four short months as Director, I have been extremely impressed with this cohort of graduates,” recounts Cross after the ceremony. “The dedication and commitment that each student exhibited toward their studies, as well as to the HEOP, is a testament to the values, and lessons that the previous Director and Counselor instilled in them. I am 100% confident that the students are well equipped with the tools necessary to achieve their goals and dreams.”

Rebecca Mattis-Pinard, former Director of HEOP and now Chief Diversity Officer at the College, spoke of each student, recalling particular anecdotes from their time together in the program. Dean Michael Salmon quoted Maya Angelou in his poignant remarks, and the Center for Academic Support and Tutoring staff, Monica Colbert and Ryan Cunningham, reminded the students to take ownership of their successes as they walk across the stage at Lincoln Center. 

As the end of the ceremony, Cross concluded her remarks with the words of William Ernest Henley’s Invictus, “To the HEOP class of 2019, please remember that you are the master of your fate, and captain of your soul!”

Congratulations, all!!