CCBC’s Rae Rosenthal garners National Collegiate Honors Council’s Ron Brandolini Award

Nov 16, 2016 | by Jacquie Lucy | 443.840.4668 (office) | 443.761.2482 (cell)

Award for Excellence at a Two-Year Institution

Baltimore County, MD – Though academic trends may have come and gone over the last three decades, one thing has held steady: Community College of Baltimore County Professor Rae Rosenthal’s dedication to providing support and opportunity to highly motivated and intellectually curious students.

And this year, the National Collegiate Honors Council made it official by awarding Rosenthal the 2016 NCHC Ron Brandolini Award for Excellence at a Two-Year Institution at the recent NCHC Annual Conference in Seattle.

The award, given in partnership with the Valencia College Foundation, not only recognizes a two-year college Honors director or faculty for outstanding contributions to the Honors community, it includes a $500 check for the CCBC Honors Program. The award is named in honor of Ron Brandolini, founding director of Valencia College’s Honors Program in the 1980s, who served in that capacity for 20 years.

Rosenthal, who currently serves as the lead director of the Honors Program and director of the CCBC Essex Honors Program, is a professor of English and Women’s Studies. She is and has been an active member of NCHC, even serving on its Board of Directors.

According to University of North Carolina Wilmington Honors Programs Director Kate Bruce, Rosenthal has shown her commitment to the Honors community through publishing in Honors journals, being a co-chair of NCHC committees, organizing or serving on roundtables and panels at NCHC conferences and on ‘Developing in Honors’ panels, being active in the regional Honors association, and leading an active and well-respected Honors Program at her home institution.

“The purpose of the Brandolini award is to recognize a two year college Honors director or faculty for outstanding contributions to the Honors community,” Bruce said. “Rae Rosenthal exemplifies this goal.”

NCHC Board Member and Hillsborough Community College Honors Program Director Kathleen King agrees: “She understands, firsthand, the challenges her students face, particularly in the community college setting,” King stated. “Rae is simply a colleague who is respected by her peers, and loved by her students.”

CCBC knows this high praise is well-deserved. Rosenthal established the Honors Program on the CCBC Essex campus in 1988, and is currently spearheading a $300,000 fundraising campaign – supporting Honors scholarships – in celebration of the program’s 30th anniversary in 2018. She has also fostered the expansion of the Honors Program model to the college’s Catonsville and Dundalk campuses.

In the process, the CCBC Honors Program has earned a national reputation for promoting academic excellence in students who are – or who want to become – critical thinkers, close readers and clear writers. With a current enrollment of 702 students, the CCBC Honors Program offers scholarship opportunities, a faculty mentor for each student, class size limited to 17 students, Honors-sponsored social and cultural events throughout the year, special recognition at graduation, and student access to the Honors Center and designated honors study space.

Students from these programs have transferred to colleges and universities including Yale, Georgetown, and University of Maryland – all with full scholarships. Other students have transferred to Smith, UMBC, Goucher and Cornell.

“Rae is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the Honors Program,” noted CCBC President Sandra L. Kurtinitis. “She has built CCBC’s Honors Program into a powerhouse that propels her students towards meeting our college’s most challenging curricula. She sets high expectations for them and they rarely let her down. Her graduates transfer to some of the most prestigious universities in the land. How proud we are of Dr. Rosenthal and the important work she has done for our brightest and best.”


About the Community College of Baltimore County (
CCBC offers hundreds of programs and thousands of courses helping people of all ages, backgrounds and interests earn degrees, transfer, launch or advance careers, and prepare for in-demand jobs.

Providing accessible, affordable and high-quality education since 1957, CCBC educates more than 70,000 students each year, including half of all Baltimore County residents attending college in Maryland as undergraduates. Committed to student success and the development of lifelong learners who strengthen our regional workforce and enrich our community, CCBC has also been selected to participate in Achieving the Dream, a national student success initiative. In 2011, the Chronicle of Education honored CCBC as one of only 26 community colleges across the nation named “Great Colleges to Work For.”

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

CCBC. The incredible value of education.
Rae Rosenthal receiving an award for the CCBC Honors Program