Best of the best: College honors top students

Cynthia Pinch was named Howard College's outstanding student of the year during its annual awards convocation at Garrett Coliseum Tuesday evening.Finch, a sophomore from Niles, Mich., majoring in Modern Languages, has achieved several milestones while attending Howard. She is currently president of the Student Government Association, is on the Dean's List with a 3.25 grade point average and is active in dance, theater and band. She also serves as resident assistant and the women's dormitory and has been named to Who's Who Among Junior College Students.“Cynthia … is an ambitious young lady,” College President Dr. Cheryl Sparks said in presenting the award. “Along with her accomplishments recognized tonight, she speaks several languages, including Japanese fluently. She is focused, dependable, responsible and caring.”The award is presented annually to the student who excels in all aspects of college life and is voted upon by college faculty and staff.That wasn't the only honor Pinch received at the convocation, Along with Michael Martinez, she received a medal for being named to the All-Texas Academic Team.Selection for the award is based on nominations by faculty and submitted by community college presidents. To be eligible, students must post a minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA and be on course to graduate with an associate's degree.Martinez, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is a sophomore majoring in biological sciences with a minor in law. He is a member of the Howard College Diplomats and vice-president of the SGA.Others who received special awards during Thursday's convocation include Cash Berry, who was named Instructor of the Year, Billy Schooler, named outstanding workforce education student, and Cristela Ortiz and Craig “C.J.” Manning, recipients of the American Legion Citizenship Award.In all, about 400 students were recognized for various academic, athletic and student life achievements during the year.