Colloquium Signals End of Scholars Class of 2011


Scholars pose for a picture with Dr. Mary Furgol, Rose Piskapas and Effie Siegel in the Montgomery College Rockville Campus Theater Arts building. — Photo by: Cecilia Nicolich

Original: March 8, 2011 Issue 12

By: Whitney De ValRoger

Staff Writer


Scholars pose for a picture with Dr. Mary Furgol, Rose Piskapas and Effie Siegel in the Montgomery College Rockville Campus Theater Arts building. -- Photo by: Cecilia Nicolich

After two years of intensive studies student’s program ends with a night of presentations

Look around you, MC; scholars are among us. They walk, dress and go to class like everyone else on campus. The difference being, that they are equipped with an exponentially heavier academic load. On Monday, Feb. 28, a colloquium was held in the Rockville Montgomery College Theatre Arts Arena to exhibit the fruits of these young student’s labors.

The Montgomery Scholars Program is a curriculum which inducts 25 bright and promising High School seniors from surrounding Montgomery County schools. Over a two year period, students are encouraged to work together as a learning community, studying a broad range of diverse and demanding subjects in history and literature, while incorporating a global viewpoint. “We felt like academic soldiers” stated Evan Ricucci, a graduating scholar. “… only the 25 of us in the Scholars class of 2011 can really understand what our two years in the Scholars program was like”.

The selected students benefit from scholarships and grants to pay for their Montgomery College tuition. Second year students are also offered a chance to study abroad for a summer at the University of Cambridge in England. At the end of the challenging curriculum, the seasoned students must complete the Capstone project, an extensive 20 page research paper on a topic of their choosing that demands critical thinking. In addition, the students present their topics to their parents, teachers and friends at the annual Capstone Colloquium.

At 6:30 p.m., Dr. Mary Furgol, the Montgomery Scholars director, stepped up to the podium and welcomed everyone with a brief introductory speech. For the next hour, guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres and beverages while able to converse with the scholars and view several poster presentations.

Following the poster presentations, Dean of Humanities Dr. Rodney Redmond presented an Honorary Recognition of High School Teachers, where six of the scholars summoned their inspirational high school teachers to receive honors. Afterwards, everybody in the room directed their attention to second year scholar Kristin Hoover’s PowerPoint presentation entitled, “From Matter To Bits: The Metamorphosis of the Digital Mind”.

At around 8 p.m., the remaining presentations were held in the classrooms above the arena, followed by a short Q and A between the student presenters and audience.

Though the colloquium came to a close that night, the journey for these scholars is far from over. Montgomery College is the first step for these students, as many will be transferring to pursue their education at a four year university later this year. The rigorous two year program prepared the scholars, and the colloquium is a culmination of all their hard work.

“The Colloquium really was the climax of my time in Scholars. I am so proud of all my classmates and their hard work and how well they did that night and I’m so grateful for the experience” said Ricucci.

As these sophomores move on, freshmen are taking their place and the process will start anew next year. So look around you, MC students. Scholars are among us.