Home Editor's Picks 4 MCC students named to All-Arizona Academic Team

4 MCC students named to All-Arizona Academic Team


Four high-achieving Mesa Community College students were celebrated for their outstanding academic achievements and distinguished leadership at the 2018 All-Arizona Academic Team Recognition Ceremony on March 1 at the Hilton in Mesa.

The ceremony celebrated the outstanding academic achievements, community service and distinguished leadership of students enrolled in Arizona’s community colleges. All-Arizona students demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society.

PTK, the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs; the American Association of Community Colleges, Arizona Community Colleges, the Arizona Board of Regents and the Follett Higher Education Group help these exceptional students reach their educational goals by awarding scholarships and issuing tuition waivers for Arizona’s three state universities: Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

Twelve Maricopa Community Colleges students were named to the 2018 All-Arizona Academic First Team, five to the Second Team and nine to the Third Team. Each student is working toward an associate degree, maintains a GPA of 3.5 or higher (4.0 scale) and is involved in campus and community volunteerism.

Judging consists of three rounds. First-round judges are local business, civic, education and government leaders. The second and third rounds take place in Washington, D.C. by representatives from federal agencies and national education associations. Scores from the national competition determine state team rankings. First Team members each receive a $1,000 scholarship, Second Team members a $750 scholarship and Third Team members a $500 scholarship.

This year’s MCC honorees, listed by college campus, are:

Mesa Community College, Red Mountain Campus

  • Maxwell Manning, 2018 All-American First Team
  • Alysia Vera, 2018 All-American Second Team

After earning an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University, Maxwell will pursue graduate work in zoological studies with an emphasis in ecology and systematics. With this training he hopes to perform field research and teach at a university.

Vera will transfer to Arizona State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology (forensics) with a minor in business. Her career goal is to be a criminal intelligence analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mesa Community College, Southern and Dobson Campus

  • Jacob Riddle, 2018 All-American First Team
  • Johnathan Speakman, 2018 All-American First Team

Speakman plans to use the knowledge gained from earning a bachelor’s degree in business entrepreneurship from Arizona State University to help others build businesses to achieve their dreams.

Riddle plans to transfer to Arizona State University in the fall of 2018 to complete his undergraduate requirements for medical school. After earning a degree in biological and biomedical sciences from ASU, Riddle plans to pursue a career as a pediatric oncologist or anesthesiologist.

Mesa Community College alumnus and prior PTK member, Zahid Arab was the keynote speaker, sharing stories from his educational journey and career as the community relations manager for 3TV/CBS 5 News.

Dr. Maria Harper Marinick, MCCCD chancellor, addressed attendees prior to the ceremony.

All-Arizona Academic Team members are eligible to be selected as one of 20 to be named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team, receiving an additional $5,000 scholarship, medallion, obelisk and a certificate during the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention, April 28 to May 1 in Dallas.

Information all 26 students from Maricopa Community Colleges named to All-Arizona Academic Teams is available here.

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