Tiffany Daniels, Valedictorian

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Tiffany Daniels

Associate in Applied Science Degree in 
Information Technology/Networking

Valedictorian, Class of 2015
Morning Ceremony 

  • Graduating with Highest Honors
  • Graduate Leadership Award
  • CIS Information Technology Graduate Achievement Award
  • Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges
  • NJ Stars
  • Phi Theta Kappa
  • Engineering Club

Valedictorian Aims to Be an Inspiration and Touch Hearts

Posted 5-18-15

When Tiffany Daniels received the phone call, she almost didn’t answer it.  “I was in the Gateway Center, studying,” she said.  But when she saw the call was from the Office of Academic Affairs, she decided to pick up.

“I thought they might be calling about graduation, maybe to tell me there was a problem, like some document  missing from my file, and I wouldn’t be able to graduate if I didn’t get it in,” she said.

The call was indeed about graduation. But the news was very different. Tiffany learned she had been named valedictorian of the Class of 2015.

“Are you kidding,” was her response to Julie McCourt, the caller from Academic Affairs. “I didn’t expect it,” said Tiffany.  After a stunned moment, the news sank in.

“I did a victory lap around the Gateway, then started crying” she said, laughing. Next, she called her parents. “They were beyond happy,” said Tiffany. “The didn’t see this one coming.”

The Clifton resident, who will receive her AAS degree in Information Technology/Networking, is one of two valedictorians in the Class of 2015.  She will give her valedictory address at the morning Commencement ceremony on May 21.

“I feel honored I was selected and blessed to have met the people who helped me through this journey,” said Tiffany.

Tiffany Daniels delivers the
Valedictory address to the
Class of 2015

Read more about Tiffany at
Commencement 2015


A 2013 graduate of Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI), Tiffany was recognized as a NJ Star, an honor accorded to selected high school students who are academically near the top of their class and receive tuition scholarships, if they attend a community college.

“Initially, I planned to attend  WPU (William Paterson University),” said Tiffany.  Instead, she enrolled in PCCC to take advantage of the tuition scholarship.

“As time progressed, I realized it’s been the best experience ever,” said Tiffany. “I learned who I am, what I want to do, and where I want to go,” she explained. “I didn’t know that before.”

A member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Tiffany enjoyed a wide range of subjects beyond her technology classes.  “I really like to write, and I enjoyed my public speaking class,” she said.

A class in pre-calculus with Professor Fillmore Corpus was among her favorites, to her surprise. “I had been away from math for some time,“ said Tiffany, who confessed to not being a big fan of math. “Professor Corpus just made it so interesting.”

She acknowledges Professors Kelly Bender (English), Kasandra Pantoja (Humanities), and Eric Cameron (Computer Science) for their help  and support. ‘In fact,’ she said, “the whole IT department really pushed me.”

As part of her degree studies, Tiffany worked an internship at Bergen County Technical Institute where, for about eight weeks, she traveled with a network team among the school’s various campuses working on computers.  “I gained experience in my field, and at the end of the internship, I was able to say ‘This is what I want to do.’”

She’ll be doing much more of it soon, since her work impressed BCTI enough to offer her a job this summer.  “This time, it will be more hands-on,” she said. “I’m really excited about that.”

In September, Tiffany will continue her studies toward a bachelor’s degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University where she will major in  Information Technology and minor in computer forensics, a combination that blends her interests and skills in both technology and writing.

Of her valedictory speech, Tiffany said,  “I want to touch the audience and inspire them,” she said.  “I want people to see there’s so much beauty around us and so much life can offer.  “I’m truly thankful for everything.”