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College Inducts Two Newest “Hall of Fame” Members, Recognizes 88 “Outstanding” Students During 70th Annual Recognition Ceremony

Instructors of the Year also named during annual event held in Richardson Performance Hall

Article by DMC College Relations
(Updated June 10, 2022 with video)

For over seven decades, the Del Mar College (DMC) campus community has anticipated the annual Recognition Ceremony, an event that celebrates students and educators for their academic achievements,  community service and mentorship. With the last “in person” ceremony held three years ago in 2019, this year marks a new beginning as the College returned to Richardson Performance Hall and held its 70th Annual Recognition Ceremony with participants walking the stage to receive their awards.

The College honored 88 students who received “Outstanding Achievement” Awards in programs of study in the institution’s academic divisions, along with this year’s Heritage and Windward Campus Instructors of the Year. Additionally, DMC inducted its two newest members into its prestigious “Hall of Fame.”

As a time-honored tradition since 1949, this year’s two Hall of Fame inductees are psychology major Sofia Jimenez and Nichaela L. Shaheen, a public relations and advertising major. Students are selected for their scholarship, leadership and participation in student organizations. These two students join the ranks of nearly 420 inductees who have set the bar for becoming Hall of Fame honorees.

Sofia Jimenez_2022 DMC Hall of Fame Inductee

After attending Del Mar College to become a vocational nurse, Jimenez returned to DMC and has been active in several student organizations and has served many roles. She is the current president of the Student Government Association (SGA) after serving as vice president and treasurer, vice president of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa, treasurer of the National Society of Student Leadership & Success, vice president of the Ambassadors, co-founder for Safe Space (president) and Mindful Vikings (vice president), a DMC chapter co-founder of the American Association of University Women and a Viking Volunteer. Among College activities that Jimenez has either helped organize or assisted as a volunteer include the annual fall carnival, Friendsgiving, Discover Del Mar, DMC Student Orientation, DMC Viking Food Pantry drives and many other campus events. She is also an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community both on and off campus, including involvement with Corpus Christi’s first PRIDE parade and the Safe Sex and Feminine Products Projects at DMC, along with many other community and campus service initiatives. Additionally, Jimenez has served on several DMC committees as a student voice, including the Return-to-Campus, Dr. Aileen Creighton Award for Teaching Excellence and Housing  Survey Committees. She has volunteered, earned certificates and given presentations as part of initiatives and organizations targeting mental illness, health and well-being.

Nichaela Shaheen_2022 DMC Hall of Fame Inductee

Among the organizations and roles that Shaheen has served are as associate editor and editor-in-chief of the DMC student newspaper, The Foghorn, co-editor of the student magazine, Siren, president of the Press Club, captain of the Vocal Vikings forensics team and secretary of SGA. Some activities she helped coordinate or served as a volunteer include a drive for feminine products for The Purple Door Women’s Shelter and a “Tacos Not Bombs” drive to feed the homeless in Corpus Christi. She has won numerous awards during forensic and journalism competitions, including those from the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association, Texas Community College Forensics Association, Phi Rho Pi regional speech tournaments and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Additionally, Shaheen has volunteered considerable time to judge speech competitions at Corpus Christi Independent School District high schools.

A video with remarks by both Hall of Fame inductees is available at the end of this release. Hear about what inspires them!

The College also recognized faculty selected as Instructors of the Year for both the Heritage and Windward Campuses through an online ballot process completed by the student body. DMC Student Government Association leadership introduced the two honorees––Mendy Meurer, assistant professor of speech with the Communications, Languages and Reading Department on the Heritage Campus, and Leah Eddlemon, instructor of medical assisting with the Allied Health Department on the Windward Campus.

Before celebrating the College’s new Hall of Famers, “Outstanding” students crossed the stage to receive their awards, including:

Accounting: Angel Love Abelong Bernal, Nilda Diaz, Michelle M. Hernandez and Gabriel Urbina
Dental Assisting: Edgar Santos, Melany Garza and Rhylee Wittner
Dental Hygiene: Violet Bates, Hannah J. Engelman, Tyler M. Hernandez and TuNgo
Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Lara Breeding
Echocardiography: Gabrielle Escalona
Health Information Technology: Joanna Gloria
Medical Assisting: Belinda Armendarez, Joslin Benavidez, Jasmine Havlik-Longoria, Natascha K. Howard-Cox, Kaitlyn McDowell and Victoria Perez
Medical Laboratory Tecchnology: Isaiah M. Cardenas, Grace M. Columbus, Elaine J. Everett, Melanie Garcia, Ashley C. Knappick, Ernest J. Mendoza and Lacey P. Pruitt
Nursing: Roxana Gonzalez, Rachel Mendez, Noemi Padilla-Harkless, Nicole Potter, Elizabeth Rovira, Dana Sanchez, Alexis Waggener and Michelle Westbrook
Radiologic Technology: Magen Storey
Respiratory Therapy: Rikki Crenshaw, Roxette Ramos and Jessica Yanchunis

Advertising/Public Relations: Miranda Medina
American Sign Language and Interpreting: Tyler Garza and Audrey Garcia
Art: Isaac Cantu, Grace Gardner, Savannah Lopez, John Morales, Gabrianna Ortiz, Margaret Ridley, Caleb Terry and Tina Villegas
Drama: Amber Basaldu, Sarah Garcia and Isabella Guillot
English: Lillian Jamfar
History: Candace Drake, Sharra Galindo, Celeste Pena. Melissa Tabor and  Lea Watson
Journalism: Melissa Mata
Mexican American Studies: Lauren R. Lara
Music: Julia Arnett, Damien De La Cruz, Matthew Gomez, Erika Money and Noah Valdez
Sociology: Shannon Griffin
Spanish: Keeli M. Pace
Speech: Miranda Barnes

Automotive: Wilson R. Dickens
Diesel: Jason C. Guinn
Emergency Medical Services: Adam Alaniz and Kile Patrick
Environmental/Petrochemical Lab: Jonathan Cortinas
Fire Science: Matthew G. Beirn
Industrial Instrumentation: Jesse J. Trout and Brendan Tye Baham
Occupational Safety and Health: Christy Ann Garcia Trevino
Paralegal Studies: Jimmy Lee Gurley and Kari Elizabeth Walsh

Biology: Bruno Barbosa
Biotechnology: Jacequeline N. Nicolay and Jonathan P. Vera
Child Development/Early Childhood: Alyssa Acuna
Geology: Loren Lind
Kinesiology:  Jordynn Faith Becker and Julian Gomez 


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.