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Merced College Student of the Month

December 2006

Paul Cordova


Major:                           Chemistry/Pre-Med

Interests:                       volunteering time and church ministry

Future Goals:                transfer to UC Davis and major in Neuroscience/Physiology/Behavior and/or Cultural Anthropology

Nominating Instructor:  Christine Plecnik, Science/Math/Engineering




      Paul Cordova has been described as "extremely helpful, dedicated and caring" not by his instructor but by one of his students, Claudia Sanchez.  Paul has mentored students at Merced College for one and half years.  Each semester he is assigned five to fifteen students whom he communicates and meets with weekly.  He advises them in their future coursework, helps to address their problems and works to improve their study skills and time management.  Paul is a wonderful mentor and genuinely wants his students to succeed.  This is Paul Cordova the December Student of the Month at Merced College.  Paul is studying science with plans to transfer to University of California Davis to major in Neuroscience/Physiology/Behavior (NPB) and/or Cultural Anthropology.  He hopes to take part in research at the MIND Institute at UC Davis which is the leading location of research on Autism and Developmental Disorders.  His goal is to raise public awareness of neurobiological developmental disorders.  Paul has a younger brother who lives with Asperger Syndrome, an acute form of Autism.  Paul sees his brother's daily struggles because of the lack of public awareness. Another area of interest for Paul is to study different cultures and languages through cultural anthropology as well as attend medical school.

Dr. Christine Plecnik nominated Paul because of his ability to go above and beyond the call of duty. She was impressed by her interactions with him in several settings. On the academic side Paul has maintained a 3.5 GPA while taking rigorous courses such as Genetics, Microbiology, Zoology and Botany.  Paul is the recipient of several scholarships including the Pre-Med Club Scholarship and Merced United Methodist Scholarship. He is a member of the honor societies Alpha Gamma Sigma and Phi Theta Kappa.  As a leader of the Pre-Med Club, Paul led the transition from an advisor managed club to one that was run by students.  He has invited various speakers including a general physician and registered nurse to speak to the group.  He also organized a Pre-Nursing seminar and trip to Sacramento for the American Medical Association Conference. 

Paul was recently ordained as a minister and preaches along with his father in the community.  He teaches Sunday School and on Friday evening he leads Bible Study groups for young adults.  He is involved in outreach and intervention programs for gang members and alcohol and drug abusers.  He has been learning Spanish and Hmong to better communicate with his congregation. 

Finally Paul believes his experiences and the people at Merced College have molded him as a man. He feels thankful for the opportunities to work closely with different professors. He has developed personal and professional relationships with professors who have served as tremendous mentors and sources of great encouragement and inspiration.   Dr. Plecnik adds "his scholastic achievements are noteworthy, but his qualities as a human being are honorable."

Congratulations to Paul for being selected as the December Outstanding Student of  the Month. He will receive recognition at the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting as well as a check for $50 and a special parking space in December.







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Last updated on 12-5-06 by Michelle Pecchenino