Supporting Talented Math Students

Manuel Lopez, Dr. Jose Fierro, Judy Sterling, and Monica Lee Copeland
Manuel Lopez, Dr. Jose Fierro, Judy Sterling, and Monica Lee Copeland

Rick Sterling’s Legacy Adds $90,000 to Support Math Program


NORWALK, Calif. - August 12, 2019 - Cerritos College Foundation announced today that Judy Sterling has established the Sterling Math Endowed Scholarship for $75,000. Judy also pledged $15,000 to establish the Sterling Math Scholars Tutoring Program, which will begin in the fall semester under the direction of Professor Manuel Lopez, Cerritos College Math Department Chair. In total, Judy’s contribution equals $90,000 toward student success in mathematics.

“This generous gift creates more opportunities to help our students understand and appreciate the power of math,” said Dr. Fierro, President/Superintendent, Cerritos College. “Math competency and completion is a critical part of our students’ ability to transition to their next phase of higher education. Judy Sterling’s financial contribution allows the College to support our talented students who want to pursue careers related to mathematics.”

Judy’s gifts are inspired by her late-husband Merrick “Rick” Leigh Sterling. Rick passed away in 2014, and was a Cerritos College math faculty member. He graduated from Pomona College in 1973 and had a successful career in banking and finance. Rick left the banking industry in 1999 to pursue his passion for math. After earning a master’s degree in mathematics at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), Rick began teaching math at CSULB and Cerritos College. Shortly after his death, Judy established the Sterling Math Scholarship. More than $17,000 has been awarded to Cerritos College students.

“My husband enjoyed working with students and helping them discover the beauty in math,” said Judy. “Rick was interested in helping students take problem-solving to the next level. I wanted to do something that would help students make those discoveries.”

The Sterling Math Endowed Scholarship is open to math students transferring to four-year colleges and universities. The new tutoring program will help students who want to participate in the American Mathematical Association of Two Year College’s annual Student Math League competition. Students who want to participate are encouraged to contact Professor Lopez for more information about the tutoring program, and visit

Donors who are interested in supporting the Sterling Math Scholars Tutoring Program and the Sterling Math Endowed Scholarship can contact Foundation Executive Director Carol Krumbach at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2536.


About the Cerritos College Foundation: The Cerritos College Foundation, a nonprofit organization, serves as a charitable vehicle for the community, individuals and alumni, to assist with financial support of Cerritos College beyond that which state funding supports. Visit the Foundation online at

About Cerritos College: Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages 23,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at