Meet ELAC's Exceptional Honors Students: Diverse Paths, Outstanding Achievements

April 23, 2024

By Kevin Jimenez


April 23, 2024

News Media Contact:

Kevin Jimenez, College Public Relations Manager

(323) 265-8807 | @email

Meet ELAC's Exceptional Honors Students: Diverse Paths, Outstanding Achievements

honors student photos header

MONTEREY PARK, CA – East Los Angeles College (ELAC) celebrates the remarkable achievements of its honors students during the 2023-2024 academic year. These students have shown their commitment to academic excellence and are examples of what make ELAC Huskies great.

As a testament to their outstanding academic achievements and dedication to their fields of study four ELAC honors students, Pearl Agramon, Hanyin Liang, Jesse Miramontes, and Fikiremariam Tefera, have been selected as semi-finalists for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship.

If chosen, they will join an esteemed group of only 14 other ELAC students in school history to receive this prestigious scholarship, which provides up to $55,000 per year to support their bachelor’s degree studies. In addition to financial support, new Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of Cooke Scholars and Alumni. 

Six ELAC honors students were selected to present at the 2024 Honors Transfer Council of California (HTCC) Research Conference held at UC Riverside. Juan Herrera Alatorre, Scotty Hong, Sam Molina, Adina Morales, Fuyan Shan, and Sydney Zheng presented their research-based projects, posters, and creative performances, highlighting ELAC's commitment to fostering excellence in various disciplines.

Sam Molina and Sydney Zheng were also recognized with the Exemplary Achievement Award by the HTCC. This award recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding growth and academic success brought about by involvement in a community college honors program.

ELAC is also proud to announce that two of its honors students, Melody Feng and Emily Fu, have been selected to participate in the 2024 Chautauqua Summer Scholars program in Chautauqua, New York. This opportunity will provide them with a week-long educational, cultural, and social capital enrichment experience, where they will engage with leading scholars, authors, and artists, further enhancing their academic and personal growth.

"We are immensely proud of our honors students for their exceptional achievements and contributions,," said Dr. Alberto J. Román, President of East Los Angeles College. "Their dedication, passion, and scholarly endeavors exemplify the spirit of excellence that defines ELAC, and we are confident that they will continue to make significant contributions to their fields and communities."

The outstanding accomplishments of these ELAC honors students showcase ELAC’s commitment to academic excellence, and student success. As they continue to excel in their academic pursuits, they serve as inspiring role models for their peers and the broader community.

Bios of ELAC Honors Students:

Pearl Agramon is a second-year psychology major intending to transfer to UCLA. Pearl is the president of the Psi Beta Honors Club and will present at this year's Western Psychological Association Conference in San Francisco. As a first-generation college student, she encourages others to take advantage of opportunities to further their academic journey.

Juan David Herrera Alatorre, born in Tijuana, Mexico, moved to the US at the age of thirteen. His love for literature led him to major in English, with plans to continue his studies and obtain a doctoral degree.

Melody Feng started her academic journey with little music background and is now a music major specializing in piano. Outside of music, her hobbies include reading and dancing.

Emily Fu is majoring in biology and hopes to transfer to the University of California, Irvine, with an emphasis on Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is grateful for the opportunities given to her at ELAC.

Scotty Hong is a 5-year Army Veteran and current ELAC Computer Science Student. He completed the Honor Program in one year and plans to do a research internship at Yale this summer.

Hanyin (Eva) Liang is an international student at ELAC, passionate about mathematics, physics, and vocal performance.

Jesse Miramontes will major in Social Work upon transferring to CSULA. He is actively involved in various programs and clubs at ELAC, with a focus on inspiring positive change within his community.

Sam Molina is a second-career student at ELAC, passionate about using her voice to create a meaningful difference in the world through advocacy and leadership.

Adina Morales is a dedicated mother and student, determined to inspire others through her journey of overcoming obstacles and pursuing education.

Fuyan Shan is a Psychology major conducting research on bullying and its impact on bystanders, victims, and aggressors.

Fikiremariam Tefera, a dual citizen of Ethiopia and the United States, is fascinated by space exploration and science, with a dedication to pursuing a degree in Medicine.

Sydney Zheng - Sydney Zheng is a Public Health major passionate about research and community health, with aspirations to earn her master's degree and PhD.

ELAC is the largest of nine two-year community colleges within the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), More information about ELAC is available online at Follow ELAC on social media, Facebook @Eastlacollege, Twitter @Eastlacollege, and Instagram @ELACHuskies.