Students Named To USA Today Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Team

April 24, 2020

Hudson Valley Community College students Angelina Downey, Tajae Edwards and Lya Zhang were recently named to the USA Today Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Team.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education, serving nearly 1,300 colleges in all 50 states and eleven countries. Members of the All-New York Academic Team are recognized for their academic achievements, leadership accomplishments and engagement in community service.

Angelina Downey is pursuing a degree in Mortuary Science and plans to become a funeral director after she graduates from Hudson Valley. She has been named to both the Dean’s List and President’s List during her time at the college. An adult returning student, Downey is a mother of two and has been a licensed optician for 15 years. She volunteers at her church, St. Pius X in Loudonville, teaching Pre-K Sunday school, and is an avid supporter of and volunteer for JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Headshot of a smiling Tajae Edwards
Tajae Edwards

Tajae Edwards is pursuing a degree in Business Administration, and plans to transfer to a four-year school to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration after he graduates from Hudson Valley. Edwards is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and is the secretary of the Student Senate. He is also a student representative for the college judicial system’s Ethics and Planning Committee; a student board member on the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors; a student member of the Faculty Student Association Financial Planning Committee; and vice president of the Black and Latino Student Union. He is a member of the Men’s Track and Field team and a student worker for Student Activities and the Educational Opportunity Program. He is also a peer tutor and a campus navigator, and contributes articles for the Hudsonian.

Headshot of a smiling Lya Zhang
Lya Zhang

Lya Zhang is pursuing a degree in Communications/Media Arts at Hudson Valley, with immediate plans to go on to Cornell University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and ultimately create her own architecture firm. Zhang was raised in France, and French is her first language; when she came to the United States to study, she made it her mission to perfect her English skills, and she has been so successful in that endeavor that she is now a tutor for the college’s writing center and a writer for the Hudsonian. She is treasurer of Hudson Valley’s Student Senate and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, the Hudson Valley Women’s Basketball team and the Human Services club on campus.

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