Campus & Community

Morel awarded prestigious national scholarship

Palm Beach State College student and Marine Corps veteran Joseph Morel is one of 61 recipients nationwide selected for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s prestigious Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

The highly competitive scholarship, which this year drew almost 1,500 applicants, will provide him with up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Morel, the 2017-18 PBSC student trustee, earned an Associate in Arts degree at PBSC in 2017 and is planning to graduate this spring with an Associate in Science degree in Electrical Power Technology.

“I am genuinely speechless,” said Morel through tears as College administrators surprised him with the news. “PBSC has always been there for me, and I will be forever grateful. “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, and he has certainly strengthened me.”

In addition to the monetary award, Morel will receive comprehensive educational advising from Foundation staff to guide him through the process of transitioning to a university and preparing for his career. The Foundation will additionally provide opportunities for internships, study abroad and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of nearly 2,500 fellow Cooke Scholars and alumni.

From l: Dr. Velmarie Albertini, dean of curriculum, Marcella Montesinos, Honors College manager, Joseph Morel, PBSC President Ava Parker and Dr. Roger Yohe, vice president of academic affairs.

The Foundation narrowed the pool of applicants to almost 600 semifinalists, including six from PBSC, and evaluated each on academic ability, persistence, leadership and service to others. Morel is the eleventh student chosen from PBSC.

Morel, a Palm Beach County native and Coastal High School graduate, is a member of the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. This year, he was awarded a PBSC Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Leadership Award for his leadership and community outreach endeavors.

He has also represented PBSC at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York and has participated in the College’s Model Legislature Program, Student Government Association, and was a Supplemental Instructor for physics to name a few. In 2016, he worked on Capitol Hill as an intern for Florida Senator Bill Nelson.

Morel has applied to Stanford and Yale universities but plans to apply to more. He wants to obtain a bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus on international relations and then go to law school.

This year’s recipients represent 18 different states and an average GPA of 3.93. For more information on the scholarship, visit

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13 comments on “Morel awarded prestigious national scholarship”

  1. Outstanding job, Joseph!
    Congratulations and best wishes as you go forward in your educational career path.

  2. Congratulations! Your award is well-deserved and hard-earned. Your humility in receiving it is inspiring. Best wishes as you forge your path onward!

  3. Congratulations Jo, you always knew you would do it!!! So immensely proud of you! You join the ranks of some of my favorite Cooke winners. You are in a wonderfully, scholarly group of individuals. Go forth!

  4. That’s great Joseph! We’ve come a long way from our first class together.

    Proud of you!

  5. Congratulations and best wishes Joe!! You are so deserving and you make us all proud!!

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