February 19, 2019
Volume 1 | Issue 7
Your Weekly Commission Update
Community colleges play an important role in educating and training current and future generations of workers,
in addition to providing affordable and responsive higher education to thousands of Pennsylvanians every year.
Meet Merle Barkley Jr., Single Father and Recent Graduate
When Merle Barkley Jr. enrolled in the Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC) program at Westmoreland County Community College, he had lost his house and was raising four children on his own. Thanks to help from the college's KEYS Program, Barkley completed his associate degree.
Community College Graduate Continues to Pursue Education
Patricia Taylor, Community College of Philadelphia alumna and School District of Philadelphia bus attendant, was inspired by the students she drives to return to school. After graduation, she enrolled at Temple University, where she is studying adult organizational development and English. 
Grant Will Fund Improvements
to Community-Based Facility
The R.K. Laros Foundation, Inc. has awarded Northampton Community College a $30,000 grant. The funds will be used to establish and develop a resource center at the college's Fowler Family Southside Center, and implement additional improvements at the community-based facility.
Community College Director of Admissions Honored
by Pennsylvania School Counselors Association
Dr. Elizabeth DeChurch Strenkowski , director of admissions at Community College of Allegheny County 's Boyce Campus, has been named the Pennsylvania School Counselor Advocate of the Year by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association . She was recently honored at the 63rd Annual PSCA Conference . PSCA commended Strenkowski’s role in developing a college- and career-ready approach at CCAC in cooperation with numerous high schools in Allegheny County.
RACC President Dr. Susan D. Looney
to Receive Paragon Award for New Presidents
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) will recognize 25 college presidents with the Paragon Award for New Presidents during the Society’s annual convention. Reading Area Community College President Susan D. Looney, J.D, Ed.D. , who began her presidency in July 2018, will be among those receiving this prestigious award . Paragon Awards are given to new college presidents who have shown strong support of student success. 

Birthdays & Milestones
Hope you Enjoy a Fabulous Year!
Happy (belated) birthday to Rep. Kyle Mullins , Rep. James Roebuck, Jr. and Sen. Steve Santarsiero !

Did we miss someone? Birthday submissions are welcomed to media@pacommunitycolleges.org .