Student Receives Essex County Althea Gibson Leadership Award

From left, Essex County Deputy Chief of Staff William Payne, Director of Student Life Jamil Graham, Chair of Biology, Chemistry & Physics Division Dr. Eunice Kamunge, Ines Kenfack Donfack, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr., and Chemistry Professor Dr. Nidhal Marashi

Biology, Pre-Medicine major Ines Kenfack Donfack has the honor of being Essex County College’s recipient of the 2022 Essex County Althea Gibson Leadership Award. Ines, of Irvington, received the award from Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. on Wednesday March 30. The theme of the program this year, in celebration of Essex County’s Women’s History Month, was Students Achieving Today – Our Leaders of Tomorrow.

“This honor caught me totally be surprise. I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but I’m certainly grateful for it,” said Ines, who was born in Duala, Cameroon. She has lived in the United States since she was three years old. A high school graduate of Newark Tech, she has a 3.97 grade point average at ECC.

Ines was recommended for the award by ECC Chemistry Professor Nidhal Marashi in her capacity as co-advisor to the College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Alpha Theta Theta. Ines is a member of PTK as well as treasurer of the Biology/Pre-Medicine Club and the Essex Chemical Society. She is also a tutor in the College’s Learning Center.   

“Ines is a wonderful young lady, an outstanding student and with her work as a tutor and volunteer, she is worthy of this recognition,” said Dr. Marashi.

“The experiences I’ve had at ECC have helped me grow in confidence, and taught me the importance of teamwork, community, creativity, organization, and much more,” said Ines. She is looking to transfer to Rutgers University-Newark in the fall, with an eye on medical school. Her goal is to be a pediatric surgeon.