Four high-achieving Mesa Community College students were celebrated for their outstanding academic achievements and distinguished leadership at the 2017 All-Arizona Academic Team Recognition Ceremony on March 9 at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa, 1011 W. Holmes Ave. in Mesa.
Phi Theta Kappa, American Association of Community Colleges, Arizona Community Colleges and the Arizona Board of Regents helped these exceptional students reach their educational goals by awarding scholarships and issuing tuition waivers to Arizona’s three universities: University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.
To be considered for an All-Arizona Academic Team, students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, be in good academic standing, be working on an associate’s degree, demonstrate leadership, and be involved on campus and/or volunteer in their communities.
Judging to select the recipients consisted of three rounds. In the first round, a group of local businesses, civic, education, and government leaders reviewed applications and chose the recipients of the award. Only two students are selected from each college campus. The selected recipients’ applications were then forwarded to Washington, D.C., for second and third rounds of judging and scoring by representatives from various federal agencies and national education associations. Those scores were used to rank the students for first, second or third state teams. First Team members receive a $1,000 scholarship to one of Arizona’s state universities, Second Team members a $750 scholarship and Third Team members a $500 scholarship.
Mesa Community College, Red Mountain Campus
Jessica Siegel and Zachary St. Martin – First Team
Siegel plans to earn a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Arizona State University and study medicine at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, paving the way to become a naturopathic medical doctor. St. Martin plans to major in the science of health care delivery at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions with the intention of pursuing joint doctor of medicine/master of public health degrees, preparing himself for a life of service as a physician-champion for medically underserved populations.
Mesa Community College, Southern and Dobson Campus
Tyler Oakes and Kristin Shelledy – Second Team
Oakes plans to attend the Disney College Program and progress to the position of Disney creative designer. Shelledy plans to transfer to the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, ultimately earning a doctor of pharmacy degree. Her career goal is to work at NASA to develop pharmaceuticals for space missions.
Two previous All-Arizona Academic Team members delivered keynote addresses during the ceremony. Anthony Meza, a graduate student in the Professional Science Master’s Nanoscience program at Arizona State University, represented Northland Pioneer College during the 2013 All-Arizona ceremony. Rio Salado’s 2012 All-Arizona Academic Team member Jennifer Papworth, currently serves as the district representative for Congressman Raul Grijalva.
Twenty students were named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team from the state first teams. All-USA Team members will each receive a $2,500 stipend, medallion, obelisk, and certificate. These recognitions are presented to students at a ceremony at the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Annual Convention.
In addition, the Coca-Cola Foundation, along with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, recognizes the New Century Scholars. Fifty students will be named Gold Scholars, receiving $1,500; 50 students will be named Silver Scholars, receiving $1,250; and 50 students will be named Bronze Scholars, receiving $1,000. A state may have multiple Gold, Silver, and Bronze Scholars. All scholars also receive special medallions. The top scoring student in each of the 50 states will be named a New Century Scholar and will receive a $2,000 stipend. New Century Scholars will also be recognized at the AACC Convention.