Georgia Perimeter College Newsroom

Clarkston student Tshibambe Tshimbombu accepts from President Rob Watts one of the three awards he won during the 2014 Celebration of Excellence ceremony. (photo by Bill Roa)

GPC students live up to their major -- theatre -- in this dramatic shot taken at the student awards ceremony. The theatre students were volunteer ushers at the event. (photo by Bill Roa)

GPC Regents' Scholars honored at award celebration include, from left, Scott Linder, Trung Quach, Matthew Tate and Sheena Vasquez. Not pictured are Mary Calvert and Rachel Wells. (photo by Bill Roa)

Outstanding students honored at annual Celebration of Excellence

by Kysa Daniels

Tshibambe Tshimbombu walked away a triple winner from the 2014 Georgia Perimeter College Celebration of Excellence Awards, which honors students who’ve gone above and beyond in academics, service and leadership.

The crowd erupted in applause when Tshimbombu received his third recognition—which happened to be the prestigious President’s Award given by Interim GPC President Rob Watts to a student who has contributed significantly to the college community and issues that impact students.

Tshimbombu, a 4.0 chemistry major set to graduate in May, also won the Physical Science and Service Excellence awards.

“I can’t say I feel proud of myself,” Tshimbombu said, wearing a bright orange blazer and matching tie that Watts couldn’t resist trying on in front of the standing-ovation audience.

“I guess it’s just that I was dedicated, and I made sure to do what I was supposed to do.”

A native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tshimbombu and some of his family members fled their home country for political reasons three years ago. While studying at GPC, he has tutored his peers and taken on leadership positions in Phi Theta Kappa and the Student Government Association. 

He’s also active in Students for a Healthy Africa, for which he has helped raise money to fund health insurance for 100 orphans. After graduating in May, Tshimbombu hopes to transfer to Columbia University.

Other outstanding winners of the evening included Georgia Perimeter’s two Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship recipients Matthew Tate and Trung Quach, who each received the national honor as announced earlier this week. The esteemed award consists of a $30,000 per year scholarship to be used toward attaining a bachelor’s degree.

Tate, a Newton Campus student, also snagged the Outstanding Regents’ Scholar Award, which included nominees from each GPC location, including the online program.

“At the Celebration of Excellence, we honor the very best and brightest members of our student community and reaffirm our mission as an access institution filled with opportunities in the University System of Georgia,” said Frank Nash, Dunwoody Campus dean of Student Services and lead coordinator for the annual event.



American Sign Language/Interpreting: Julie Garbison

Behavioral Studies: Delleisha Hylton

Biological Sciences: Trung Dinh Quach

Business Administration: Kim Anh Vu

Communications: Mariah Schell

Computer Science: Bao Vu

Dental Hygiene: Melissa Katcoff

Engineering: Kenneth Adcox

English: Kelly Commander

Fine Arts: DiJean Horton

Foreign Language: Luis “Daniel” Guerrero

General Humanities: Margarette “Maggie” Mahon

Global Studies: Dominick Johnson

Mathematics: Naud Ghebre

Nursing: Charlotte Morgan

Physical Education: Betelhem Girmay

Physical Sciences: Tshibambe Tshimbombu

U.S. Studies: Garo Fuerstenberger



Newton Campus and GPC representative: Matthew J. Tate

Alpharetta: Mary S. Calvert

Clarkston Campus: Trung Dinh Quach

Decatur Campus: Sheena Vasquez

Dunwoody Campus: Scott Linder

Online: Rachel Walls



President’s Award: Tshibambe Tshimbombu

Student Leadership Excellence Award: Leanna Whitaker

Student Service Excellence Award: Tshibambe Tshimbombu

Advisor of the Year: Carolina Ghanem-Cameron, Dunwoody

Student Club/Organization of the Year: Korean Club-Dunwoody

Outstanding Alumni of the Year-Emerging Leader Award: Ann Marie Hormeku