Marie says she has gained confidence, organizational skills, and focus, maintaining a 3.8 GPA, even as she works a full-time while attending PCCC.

April 1, 2019

Meet Marie Febrillet: PTK Middle States Region President 2019

For the second time in two years, a PCCC student has been elected president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Middle States Region. Marie Febrillet, a Media and Communications major, won the election held March 13 at the Middle States regional conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Marie assumes the presidency, a one-year term, from Jennifer Greco, who was elected in 2018 and was the first PCCC student to hold such a high position in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges.

“For me to be elected means that being limitless can get to be a reality, that as long as I keep striving for my goals everything is possible,” says Marie.  “When they announced my name as the new Regional President, I instantly burst into tears and hugged my advisor (Professor Jennifer Gasparino, PCCC PTK advisor) and my campaign manager (Valerie Altouma) It was a very emotional moment to see all these months of hard work flourish and come into existence.”

Representing Alpha Eta Chi, the PCCC chapter of PTK, Marie is the top officer of the newly elected regional executive board.  The Middle States Region consists of over 80 chapters in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

Candidates were required to campaign at the conference and also present a campaign speech. (Read Marie’s speech)  Marie’s campaign slogan Together we belong, we exist, we become one, reflects her platform, emphasizing connectedness and the power of working together, a theme that emerged from her personal experience at PCCC, particularly as a member of PTK. (See Marie’s campaign brochure)

The Passaic resident initially did not have plans to attend college.  After graduating from high school in the Dominican Republic, she came to the United States on her own, and did not know anyone else here.
“I decided to challenge myself by going to college and thought I would meet more people there,”
Marie said. She enrolled at PCCC in Fall 2017, but by the end of the first semester was disappointed that she had not made any truly meaningful friendships.

“On New Year’s Eve 2017, I made a resolution to make six new friends in 2018,” explained Marie.  Five months later, she was inducted into PTK, and that single step fulfilled her New Year’s resolution.

“When I joined PTK, I automatically connected with a group of strong friends. Now we’re like family,” says Marie who thrives on the camaraderie of striving for her goals among other highly motivated students.

“We all support and encourage each other,” Marie affirms. “I really want to say how much I appreciate Professor Gasparino for pushing us to succeed and inspiring us to do what we didn’t think we could do,“ she added, referring to Professor Jennifer Gasparino, the PTK faculty advisor at PCCC.

“Marie won this election with her campaign and her ability to connect to her constituents,” said Professor Gasparino.  “Marie is a person who thinks about others, she is thoughtful and inclusive.  She will bring that mindset to the region, she wants chapters to share their best practices and become more supportive of each other. Marie’s campaign was all about connection, and she did an amazing job connecting with the Region.  Her campaign team followed her lead and they made amazing connections as well.”

Marie’s campaign team included Valeri Altouma, campaign manager, and Lauren Gonzalez, Wara Laura, Elias Trejo, Jason Morales, Romina Franco, Ryan Puebla, Steven Vasquez, and Erica Russelman.

“Each and every one of them was essential to this campaign,” said Marie. “They did not let me rest until they were convinced that my answers to the questions they made, in order to prepare me for campaigning, were valid, strong and carried a meaning. If it was not for the support and love I got from my campaign team, I would not have made it, simple as that.”

Marie values the benefits she gained from participating in PTK’s Honors-in-Action projects, bake sales to benefit breast cancer, and community service events. “Community Service enables people to connect with each other. It enhances soft skills and helps you grow as a person,” she said.

In addition to acting as a welcome ambassador for PCCC, for which she won an award, Marie also served as vice-president of the Student Support Services Club, developing the skills that carried her to election victory.
“I think everyone should run for something,” says Marie. “Whether you win or lose, you will gain so much from the process. It prepares you for real life.” 

Marie says she has gained confidence, organizational skills, and focus, maintaining a 3.8 GPA, even as she works a full-time while attending PCCC.  With the goal of a career in cinematography, Marie expects to receive her associate’s degree next year and hopes to continue her undergraduate education at an Ivy League university.

Her more immediate goal, as Middle States president is to build on the connections she has made in order to encourage closer collaboration among the various chapters.  “If we work together, we can achieve more, grow more, and become stronger,” says Marie. “That will attract more students to join PTK, and I want to offer others the welcome and support I received here.”

Written by Linda Telesco