Ioulia Furman and Brian Higgins will represent Essex County College on the New Jersey All-State Academic Team. They are also now nominated for the All-USA Community College Academic Team, which will be unveiled next April.
Ioula is a Biology, Pre-Medicine major from Bloomfield who has a 3.88 grade point average. Brian, from Newark, carries a perfect 4.0 average with a double major of Mathematics and Engineering. Both students will serve as Essex representatives at the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Day Recognition Ceremony next May in Trenton.
PTK is the two-year college honor society.
The state program is hosted by the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges, and co-sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa International and the New Jersey Education Association. The All-USA program is also sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa International along with the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Both students are members of the College’s Alpha Theta Theta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.
The 26-year old Ioulia will graduate from Essex in December and transfer to Rutgers University-Newark where she will major in molecular cell biology with a minor in legal studies. “In the future, I see myself as a pathologist as well as a healthcare field administrator, which is why I need the legal background.”
She grew up in Russia and has lived in New Jersey for six years. “I came to Essex because of the cost and I’m really glad I did. I’ve learned so much here; Essex really opened up the world for me,” she said.
Brian, also 26, started at Essex a year ago as a Computer Information Systems major. “My goal is to become an electrical engineer, so I felt switching majors would help me when I transfer,” he said. Brian added Mathematics as his second major, noting, “Math is always needed” in the science fields. He is eyeing Cornell University as his transfer destination when he graduates from Essex, projected in Spring 2016.
After graduating from Newark’s Science High School, Brian enrolled at New Jersey Institute of Technology. “But I really wasn’t prepared for college, so I ended up leaving and working a couple of years before deciding to go back to school. I’m glad I made the choice to come to Essex first this time around.”