Inclusive Excellence Champion

Elise Edwards

Elise Edwards, ACC

Elise Edwards began her studies at Arapahoe Community College in the spring of 2020 and will graduate with her Associate of Arts degree (General) in May 2024.  

She is a current member of NSLS and has earned recognition on the ACC Vice President’s List (3.75-3.99 term GPA). Elise has served in the roles of Inclusive Excellence Officer and Vice President for the ACC Student Government Association and was also the Vice President of the Creative Writing Club.  

Elise, who works in the Student Life office, will pursue her bachelor’s degree in Event and Meeting Management at MSU Denver following her graduation from ACC. She aspires to become a professional event planner.  

A graduate of Cherry Creek High School, she is originally from Santa Barbara, California, and relocated to Centennial in 2007. Elise enjoys drawing, painting and writing in her leisure time. 

Rising Star Awards

Alexa Fitzpatrick

Alexa Fitzpatrick, ACC

Alexa Fitzpatrick began her studies at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) in 2021, pursuing a career in the EMS program and later joining their Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) program in Emergency Service Administration. She will graduate in December 2024 with the goal of using her education to help people. 

Within the ACC community, Alexa is a leader and advocate. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and the Littleton Leadership Academy. Currently serving as ACC’s Student Body President, Alexa works to promote inclusivity and support for her fellow students. Her past roles, including ACC’s State Student Advisory Council Representative (SSAC), highlight her commitment to student welfare and community engagement. Throughout her term, she has organized a textbook drive, helped with multiple campus events, and helped fellow members bring their ideas to life. 

Alexa is a published author with her debut children’s book, Evan the EMT, and an internationally published model who has appeared in magazines like First and GMARO. In her downtime, Alexa enjoys spending time with friends and family. Looking ahead, she hopes to use her BAS degree to join FEMA, where she can continue her mission of helping those in need and making a positive impact on the world. 

Isha Singh

Isha Singh, ACC

Isha Singh enrolled at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) in August 2022 and will graduate with her Associate of Engineering Science degree in the summer of 2024. 

She is a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success and works as an office assistant / receptionist at the ACC Sturm Collaboration Campus at Castle Rock. Isha will pursue a bachelor’s degree at Colorado School of Mines and aspires to become a civil engineer. She is passionate about creating a positive impact on society, and one of her main goals is to develop more efficient roundabouts. 

Isha is from Parker and is a graduate of Legend High School. Her interests include hiking, indoor rock climbing, going to the gym, reading, traveling, exploring, and gaining experience in various engineering disciplines. 

Phi Theta Kappa All-Colorado Academic Team

Academic Transfer Students

Alexander Brainerd

Alexander Brainerd, ACC

Alexander Brainerd enrolled in the Arapahoe Community College (ACC) Automotive Service Technology program in the summer of 2022 and will graduate with his Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in May 2024. 

Alexander, who took a business class at ACC in 2017 and began his prerequisites in spring of 2022, is the recipient of the Clear the Air Foundation scholarship. After earning recognition on the Dean’s List (3.50-3.74 term GPA) in the summer of 2022, he has qualified for the President’s List (4.0 term GPA) during each of the past four semesters (Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Summer 2023 and Fall 2023). 

Alexander is currently employed at Bentley Denver (John Elway Dealership Group) and will pursue his ASE certification after graduation. He would like to start his own business and aspires to move into automotive dealership management in the future. 

A homeschool student throughout his life and a native of Denver, Alexander plays drums in a Punk Rock band called Still Gonna Bail. The group has a 7 track EP out called Mouse Click Reservation. 

Ripley Cusinato

Ripley Cusinato, ACC

Ripley Cusinato began her studies at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) in the fall of 2019 and plans to graduate with two Associate of Arts degrees (Creative Writing and Psychology) in May 2025. 

An active member of both Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), she is currently serving as ACC’s Chapter President of both organizations. Ripley has earned NSLS certificates in Advance Leadership and Executive Leadership and has participated in PTK’s Transfer Edge, Competitive Edge and Research Edge programs. In 2022, she served as the Vice President of College Projects for ACC’s Sigma Phi Chapter of PTK and spearheaded a service project to college 2,000 pairs of shoes for those in need. 

She is a three-time honoree on the ACC President’s List (Summer 2022, Fall 2022 and Spring 2023; 4.0 term GPA), an NSLS Program Impact Award recipient, and an ACC Student Leadership Conference attendee. 

Ripley is currently self-employed as the CEO of Balanced Horses Healing Humans and hopes to become an equine gestalt coach (interaction with a horse as an active partner in the discovery and healing process) and an author. She aspires to pursue career opportunities helping others who deal with chronic health conditions to overcome their illnesses. 

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Ripley graduated from Colorado Early Colleges Parker in 2021 and is an active member of Girl Scouts USA and Girl Scouts of Colorado. She published her first book in September 2022 to culminate her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Ripley’s interests include equestrian activities (horse mom), the Thoroughbred Incentive Program, the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association, creative non-fiction, poetry, and training her cardiac service dog. 

Isabelle Tolar

Isabella Tolar, ACC

Isabelle Tolar began taking Concurrent Enrollment classes at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) when she started high school at Colorado Early Colleges (Douglas County North; CECDCN) in the fall of 2020. She will earn her diploma from CECDCN and an Associate of Arts degree (Studio Art Transfer) from ACC in May 2024. 

During her time at ACC, Isabelle has earned recognition on the President’s List (4.0 term GPA) three times (Fall 2022, Spring 2023 and Fall 2023). She plans to attend Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, Georgia) to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration. Isabelle aspires to become a character designer or storyboard artist for a video game or animation company. 

A native of Littleton, Isabelle enjoys drawing, Dungeons & Dragons, painting, fencing and reading. 

State Student Advisory Council Representative

Janelle Schwarting, Secretary

Janelle Schwarting, ACC

Janelle plans to graduate in fall 2024 from Arapahoe Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in Psychology. She is a dedicated student from Colorado who began her studies in the spring of 2022. During her time at ACC, Janelle was actively involved on campus, serving in roles such as a member of the Student Government Association and contributing to the Student National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). She also served as President and Vice President of Membership and Recruiting for ACC’s Sigma Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

In addition to her academic commitments, Janelle worked as a Lead Peer Mentor for ACC’s TRIO Student Support Services program, guiding and supporting her fellow students. After graduating in fall 2024, she plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences at CU Boulder, with a goal of becoming a Speech Language Pathologist.

Originally from Colorado, Janelle graduated from Rangeview High School in Aurora. Outside of her studies and work, she enjoys hiking, off-roading, and spending quality time with family and friends.