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1166Lakhwinderpal "Paul" Singh '11Five days a week, he was doing 16-hour shifts as a chauffeur in New York City. Weekends? Those were spent working at a retail store in New Jersey. "It was no way to live," Paul Singh says. "I was working seven days a week and not going anywhere with my life. I needed to get it under control."Paul knew education was the answer. He had moved to Middlesex County, and some of his friends had been students at MCC."They said it was one of the best community colleges around," he said. "They liked the small class sizes, which was important to me because I didn't want to be in a class with 300 other students. That was one of the biggest factors for me because I wanted to interact with the professor so I can learn from the professor."He graduated in May of 2011 but decided to come back and apply to get into the radiography program. His reason? Job security."The health care field provides job stability and income stability," Paul said. "By combining radiography with my business degree, it'll put me in a position that I'll never have to worry about job prospects."Middlesex by the Numbers23.4Average Student AgeAlesha CurryAlesha Curry was working in corporate America at a job shedidn't love and didn't hate. It was just a job. But the recession hit and she was laid off. Nerve-wracking? Yes, but it might have been the best thing to happen to her."I decided it was time for me to do me," she said. "To pursue my dreams and what made me happy. And the one thing that makes me happy is cooking - creating things with my hands and watching people enjoy the fruits of my labor. I decided to become a chef, to pursue the culinary arts. I knew it'd be a lot of hard work but I was definitely up for the challenge because who doesn't want to work for a passion?"She did some research and discovered that MCC has a great culinary program."The staff here has been encouraging, professional, educational and welcoming," Alesha said. "I needed that support and encouragement, that level of professionalism, that standard of excellence."Profiles

Nick Tancredi '11, who graduated in May, was named the Outstanding Co-Op/InternshipStudent of the Year for a two-year school. The award was presented at the New Jersey Cooperative Education and Internships Association awards program in June at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark."Nick takes his job so seriously and has an incredible work ethic that it makes him an amazing employee," said Barbara Raido, the cooperative education coordinator at Middlesex County College. "He's always trying to learn something new."Mr. Tancredi interned at Home Essentials & Beyond doing product photography, which is where he has been working since June of 2010; his co-op was from January to May of 2011.Middlesex Wrestlers Finish 17th in NationThe College wrestling squad finished 17th out of 34 squads at the National Tournament in Spokane, WA at the end of February. Eight MCC wrestlers qualified for nationals. Above, Gabriel Roman defeats his opponent at the tournament.Two plays written by Professor Ben Marshall were performed. "Corn Bread With Raisins and Almonds" was selected for the Top 20 in Melbourne's Short + Sweet Theatre Festival from more than 700 entries. His play, "Purchasing Power" was selected for WBEZ's Off-Air Event Series in Chicago. The series drew 49 submissions of which three were selected.College President Joann La Perla-Morales received a Contribution to the Community Award at the First Central Jersey Women in Business Dinner in November. The program, sponsored byWCTC 1450/Magic 98.3/Greater Media, honored 11 successful central New Jersey women. Dr. La Perla-Morales is presented the award by Tony Odachowski of Greater Media. Dr. La Perla-Morales has initiated new academic programs, restructured and increased student services, and developed an honors program for high achieving students. In concert with Raritan Bay Medical Center, Dr. La Perla-Morales developed a new Associate in Science degree in Nursing. During her tenure, enrollment has increased and the campus had added Photo by John Tancredinew buildings and facilities.MCC Grad Named Senior of the Year at Engineering CollegeWalter Vittitoe '09 was named Senior of the Year by the Newark College of Engineering, which is a division of NJIT. He was also named Outstanding Senior in his major, Mechanical Engineering Technology.Mr. Vittitoe, 28, worked as a machinist before starting NJIT."Walter was a hard working student, committed to completing all his assignments in an exceptional manner," said Middlesex Professor Craig Stickler. "He had been out in the work world for several years and decided that he wanted to go further than his high school diploma was going to take him. He believes strongly in the traditional values of honesty and hard work."After graduation, Mr. Vittitoe hopes to work in the field of robotics.He is the second Middlesex graduate in three years to earn Senior of the Year honors from NJIT. Owen Fitzgerald '06 won this award in 2008.