Home Raritan Valley Community College
To best view this page, please turn off Compatibility View.

PR # 196 April 3, 2009


Twenty-seven middle and high school students from Somerset and Hunterdon counties were honored for their achievements at the 19th Annual Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards Reception, held April 2 at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in North Branch.

The evening featured a keynote address by former NBA player Eric Lloyd Murdock.

The National Council of Negro Women and RVCC initiated the Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Awards program in 1990 to pay tribute to the outstanding attainments of students in the two counties. The awards are named in honor of Paul Robeson, a Princeton native who grew up in Somerville and graduated from Somerville High School and Rutgers University. The awards, sponsored by the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice at RVCC, are given in four areas in which Robeson excelled: scholarship, the arts, community service and athletics. In addition, special ?Renaissance Scholars? awards are given to students who excel in a number of disciplines.

Forty-eight students were nominated for awards by their guidance counselors, teachers and administrators. A special committee of RVCC faculty and administrators selected the award recipients.

?The Robeson Youth Achievement Awards program gives RVCC the opportunity to recognize some incredible young people who are already leaders in their schools and the local community,? said RVCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. ?We feel confident our future will be in very good hands with these remarkable individuals leading the way.?

The following middle school students were recognized:

Jaliyah Daniels, Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School
Garrison Wilson, Kingwood Twp. School

Jessenia Scott, Branchburg Central Middle School

Community Service
Cameron Dennis, Hillsborough Middle School
Leslie Westbrook, Somerville Middle School

Daniella Hobbs, Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School

Jadaen Bernstein, Woodglen Middle School

The following high school students received special recognition:

Andrew Campolattano, Bound Brook High School
Derek Hamer, Hillsborough High School
Michael Adetona Ogunfowora, Somerset County Vocational Technical High School
Tyler Parchment, Watchung Hills Regional High School
Robyn Roundtree, Hillsborough High School

Simone Lee, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School
Hasan Mason, Watchung Hills Regional High School
Jelyssa Weekes, Hillsborough High School

Community Service
Melissa Horne, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School
Tatiana Malebranche, Hillsborough High School
Brandon Rogers, Somerset County Vocational Technical High School
Robert Winstead-Stackhouse, Somerville High School

Steven Clark, Bernards High School
Tashima Dally, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School
Vanessa Marsh, Hillsborough High School
Megan Monroe, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School
James Williams, North Plainfield High School

Jessica Belmar, Immaculata High School
Shawnee Bernstein, Voorhees High School
Brieanna Ogletree, Somerville High School

Paul Robeson, son of an escaped slave, rose from humble beginnings to become a superior athlete, scholar, orator and linguist and a star in theater, film and on the concert stage. His performances in The Emperor Jones , Show Boat and Othello remain theatrical landmarks. Robeson was also an outspoken and controversial advocate of civil rights for African-Americans. In the 1950s, during the McCarthy era, he was persecuted for his political ideas and prevented from working. His passport was revoked for eight years because the US government considered his activities in the 1930s and '40s treasonable. Throughout Robeson?s career, he remained convinced that ?art can bridge the gulf between white and black races.? Robeson died in Philadelphia in 1976 at the age of 77.

Murdock is a retired NBA basketball player who was selected by the Utah Jazz in the 1st round (21st overall) of the 1991 NBA Draft. He grew up in Bridgewater Township and played high school basketball at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

As a 6'2" point guard at Providence College, Murdock broke a host of school records, including career steals (376, an NCAA record), most points in conference games in a season (435, a Big East record), most points in a game (48, another Big East record) and most free throws in a season (238). Murdock played 9 seasons in the NBA. He has also played in Italy for Teamsystem Bologna (1996-1997, reaching the Italian Championship finals) and Virtus Bologna (2002-2003).

An entrepreneur, Murdock is the owner of a printing company and president of a sports agency. He also participates in a wide range of charity events.

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for 40 years, offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

Hit Counter

Web Study myRV Mobile RVCC LibraryLinked In Instagramfacebook Button Twitter YouTube