By Brittany Lieberman / News Co-Editor

Six winners had a hard time containing smiles after being chosen from a pool of more than 40 students for the college’s highest accolade, the Viking Award, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, on the LAC.
The winners consisted of Associated Student Body Cabinet members Suzanne Perucci, Kenneth Jones and Netta Gill, Cultural Affairs member Kristen Payne, Viking newspaper editor in chief Tonia Ciancanelli and managing editor Edward Mahurien.

ASB adviser Derek Oriee recognized Perucci as a respectful and balanced student representative. Perucci, PCC Student Council president, said, “I’m really overwhelmed, but happy. Our advisers did a great job of keeping the purpose of this meeting a secret.”

Oriee described Jones as a trustworthy mentor. “I can always rely on Kenny. He always has the students’ best interests at heart,” Oriee said. Jones, PCC Club Senate president, said, “I’m very happy, but there is still a lot of work and improvement that needs to be done.” Student Life coordinator Maya Cardenas said, “Kristen Payne is one of our biggest advocates for the college’s programs and is more than deserving of this award.”

Cardenas described Gill as a “genuine go-getter who is involved in every aspect.” Gill, PCC Cultural Affairs chair, said, “At first I thought I was in trouble. I’m shocked, but happily surprised.”
Ciancanelli and Mahurien were praised by Viking adviser Patrick McKean for their dedication and hard work. Mahurien said, “It’s a real honor, I’m happy to be a part of LBCC history.”

Student health services director Anita Gibbins said the award “is not a popularity contest. You need to get other awards before receiving this one. These students persist in demonstrating leadership and proficiency in academics.”

Dean of Student Affairs and Athletics Connie Sears said, “The Viking Award is the highest award given at LBCC. It recognizes all the student’s contributions to the college and is very prestigious.”
To win a Viking award, students must have previously received an honors certificate and a leadership and services award. After being nominated by peers or employees, students must fill out an application to be reviewed by college officials.

Winners will be honored at the banquet Thursday, Dec. 5.