Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) recognized outstanding student leaders and named the Distinguished Alumni for 2018 at a recent awards banquet held at the West Campus in New Port Richey.

Dr. Felisha R. Barker Outstanding Student Leaders named in 2018 include: East Campus (Dade City) students Johnathan McCurnin and Audrey Pease; North Campus (Brooksville) students Emily Brock and Keilah Rodriguez; Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel) students Markishia Clarke and Dean Powell; Spring Hill Campus students Savannah Lugo and Kaitlyn MacLean; and West Campus students Dealaney Allen and Steven Gomez Rosario. The prestigious awards are presented in memory of the late Dr. Felisha R. Barker, a former PHSC financial aid advisor, instructor and academic and club advisor. Also, a former student leader at PHSC, Barker advocated and inspired students to excel and attain excellence in the classroom, on campus and in the community. Dr. Barker passed away in 2005 at age 31, after nearly a decade of employment at the college.

Additionally, four military veteran students who exemplify student leadership also were recognized: Jesse Aldrich, North Campus; Brandon Bryant, Porter Campus; Amanda Moore Frazier, West Campus; and Brandon Swanbom, East Campus.

PHSC’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Margarita Romo (’80), founder and executive director of Farmworkers Self-help, Inc., an organization that allocates services to house, feed, clothe, educate and employ less fortunate farmworkers. Romo created AWING, Agricultural Women Involved in New Goals, the first farmworkers women’s organized initiative in Florida. She also developed the Norma Godinez Arts and Education Center and Mi Otra Casa, the community teen center and was instrumental in creating a farmworkers clinic in Gretna. Romo has served, in various capacities, on the Florida Education and Employment Council for Women and Girls; the Pasco County Juvenile Justice Council; the Girls Initiative of Pasco County; Pasco County Sheriff’s Council; Youth as Resources; Health and Human Services Board of Children and Family Services for H-R-S District Five, to name a few. Romo has received numerous awards and recognitions; she was named Tampa Hispanic Heritage Hispanic Woman of the Year in 2010; was the first Mexican-American woman inducted into the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2013; named a Florida Department of Public Health Hero in 2014; and in 2015, she was named a Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero.

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