Honors program’s dynamic duos

October 15, 2016

The Johnson County Community College Honors program is not only seeing double, but seeing double double, with not one but two parent/child combos enrolled in the program at the same time.

Like mother, like daughter: Venita and Kirsten Cucurella

"I learned about JCCC through an online web search," Venita Cucurella said. "My daughter attended JCCC during her senior year. She had such a good experience that I looked into attending."

Venita is majoring in biology and has most enjoyed her Honors Comp II and Chemistry II, "and all the Spanish courses." She plans to graduate in 2017.

"My experience here has been fabulous! JCCC has more course offerings and programs than any other community college that I have seen," she said.

After graduation, she plans to attend KU, major in human biology, and become a family physician serving underserved/rural area.

Good counsel

Daughter Kirsten learned about JCCC through her high school counselor.

"I wanted to take a college summer course, so she was suggesting some and she mentioned JCCC," she said. "It looked like the best school with the most offerings, so I signed up for an accounting I class the summer before my senior year and ended up loving it! The campus was amazing, the course was well-paced and I really liked the teacher."

She is majoring in liberal arts and general science, then plans to transfer and get a degree in communications. Her favorite classes have been Introduction to Theatre, Voice, and Sociology. She will graduate in 2017.

No regrets

"My experience here at JCCC has been so awesome," Kirsten said. "I still love the campus, the students are great and I am glad I didn't end up going to a university first!"

As for future plans as far as education/career/life: "Well so far the plan is to just graduate! I want to go into public relations, but it's an open playing field from there."

Like mother, like son: Olga and Michael Poleleyev

"I grew up in the USSR, which shaped my beliefs accordingly," said Olga Poleleyev. "I went to school in St. Petersburg, Russia. I also went to college there and graduated in 1994."

She heard about JCCC from her Russian friends here in KC, who advised her to get the first two years of college at JCCC before transferring to a four-year school.

"I decided to try it because the pricing and flexibility of taking classes online made it quite an attractive and better fitting option with my full-time job," Olga said.

Anatomy of a successful education

"My favorite class so far has been Anatomy," she said. "Jeff Blodig is a great teacher. I also enjoyed Introduction to Psychology. And the math courses were great – I worked on math problems when I was stressed to calm myself down."

She is majoring in liberal arts and is planning to apply to KU School of Pharmacy after that.

"I love it here at JCCC," Olga said. "I enjoy both the online and face-to-face classes, the safe and friendly atmosphere on campus, the helpfulness of all the teachers, the quality of education, and the variety of opportunities."

Same family, same major

"My high school actually offered dual-credit classes through JCCC's College Now program," said Michael Poleleyev. "I also had several alumni tell me about the school in their visits back to my high school. My major is also liberal arts; I plan to study business and entrepreneurship at a four-year school, but I'm not sure which one yet."

"This semester I am really enjoying my Introduction to Theater class with Tim Noble," he said. "I plan to graduate in 2017. I am hoping to study abroad through JCCC at least one semester while in attendance."

How has your experience been here at JCCC?

"I have loved becoming a part of the school," Michael said. "I am currently involved with the JCCC theatre program along with its music program. The theatre friends I have are some of the best kids on campus. JCCC definitely has a focus on the student and his or her individual success."