Graca Muzela Announced as WCCC 2022 Student of the Year

April 6, 2022
Graca Muzela

Graca Muzela, 2022 WCCC Student of the Year

CALAIS, ME – Washington County Community College is proud to announce that Graca Muzela, a student in the Residential and Commercial Electricity program, is the 2022 Student of the Year.

Graca came to WCCC because his teacher at Lewiston Regional Technical Center highly recommended the Residential and Commercial Electricity program to him. Graca also chose WCCC because of the opportunity to meet new people. Graca is originally from Angola, Africa and has been in nine different countries and he says that seeing other students work hard on campus makes him want to work harder for his degree.

Graca is an excellent student in the classroom and has achieved academic success in his coursework. While English is not his primary language, Graca picks up information quickly and remembers it well as he works hard daily to improve his communication skills. Graca highly values education. He considers school a privilege and he is grateful and appreciative of the opportunities Maine has offered him for advancement. Graca is committed to helping his community when he graduates, to improve immigrant housing, and eager to teach others what he has learned. He volunteered during the pandemic with the Auburn Schools Nutrition Department delivering food to school children and giving students rides to school, mentoring them, and teaching them about the value of education in the process. Graca also remains involved in the Lewiston Auburn area assisting AK Health and Social Services to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate messaging around COVID-19 and vaccine education to immigrants, refugees, and BIPOC communities.
He is also a song engineer in his local church.

Graca always has a positive attitude and is willing to lend a helping hand to his fellow students whenever possible. On campus, Graca is involved in JMG and serves as a Resident Assistant for student housing. Tyler Stoldt, Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services, states that “when Graca came to WCCC, he brought excitement and energy with him as he was eager to meet new people and get involved on campus. While Graca has faced unimaginable conditions and many barriers as he and his family went through the process of seeking asylum in the United States, every day he shows appreciation and excitement for learning. He has shown great dedication to his program, Residential and Commercial Electricity, and to student life as a resident assistant”. WCCC President, Susan Mingo states, “during my tenure at the College I’ve had the distinct pleasure of getting to know many amazing students. Graca is a standout amongst his peers. It is rare to see such purpose and resiliency within a student. Despite the life challenges Graca has endured, he continually maintains and exhibits an infectious, positive attitude. His presence on campus makes our community a better place to live, work and study, and I feel privileged to have had to opportunity to get to know him over the past year.”

Graca plans to continue at WCCC next academic year in the Electromechanical Instrumentation Technology program. In the future, Graca hopes to receive his journeyman electrician license and eventually transfer to the University of Maine to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. Congratulations Graca, from all of us at WCCC!

The Maine Community College System will be holding a virtual ceremony to celebrate Student of the Year Recipients with WCCC hosting an in-person viewing celebration on campus. The ceremony will be held April 27th at 11:30AM. The event will be held via a Zoom webinar. To join the webinar, simply click on this link: just before the event begins. There’s no need to register in advance.