2012 All-USA Community College Academic Team Announced

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Jackson, MS – Twenty students have been named to the 22nd annual All-USA Community College Academic Team, honored for their outstanding intellectual achievement and leadership. Each team member will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

The All-USA Community College Academic Team, presented by USA TODAY, Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges, and sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group honors outstanding two-year college students. Through their gift of $125,000, Follett Higher Education Group is proud to sponsor Phi Theta Kappa and the All-USA Community College Academic Team as part of its ongoing mission to drive student success. Winners will receive academic and textbook scholarships from Follett, which enable outstanding men and women to reach their educational goals. Phi Theta Kappa also awards additional scholarships through the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program and the New Century Scholars Program, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation. These include scholarships of nearly $300,000 to 200 other outstanding community college students.

In addition to the scholarship funds, each ALL-USA Community College Academic Team member received a special medallion. A commemorative obelisk was presented to college presidents and student winners were presented at the Phi Theta Kappa Presidents Breakfast held during the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Convention on April 23 in Orlando, Florida.

ALL-USA Community College Academic Team members were also featured in a full-page advertisement in USA TODAY newspaper on that date.

“As college costs continue to climb, community college becomes a vital channel to access the baccalaureate degree,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley. “An expanded program helps provide the opportunity and raises awareness of the need.”

The 20 Team members of the All-USA Community College Academic Team are:

Billy Joe Ammons, Jr., Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, Andalusia, Alabama

Amy Bartel, Mt. San Jacinto College, San Jacinto, California

Ronald Bray, Broward College, Pompano Beach, Florida

Austin Brooke Christopher, Carl Albert State College, Poteau, Oklahoma

Bradley T. Conley, Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Minneapolis, Minnesota

David Corgan, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Laurie Lynn Covarrubias, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, California

Leah Marie Esslinger, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan

Luke Thomas Fisher, Carroll Community College, Westminster, Maryland

Alistair Glover, St. Petersburg College, Clearwater, Florida

Tia L. Holmes, Prince George’s Community College, Largo, Maryland

Adam M. James. Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

Kimberly Madison Kolpek, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Wesson, Mississippi

Faith Ashley O’Brien, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Natchez, Mississippi

Nichole Whitney Philipp, Delaware County Community College, Media, Pennsylvania

Clinton D. Pruitt, Tyler Junior College, Tyler, Texas

Maral Sakayan, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, California

Brittany Thomas, Northeast State Community College, Blountville, Tennessee

Mark Valentine, Middlesex Community College, Bedford, Massachusetts

Kathryn Webster, Bucks County Community College, Newton, Pennsylvania

The team of 20 was selected by a panel of judges from more than 1,700 students nominated by over 800 community colleges. Judges considered grades, leadership, activities and, most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

The 2012 All-USA Community College Academic Team final judges were:

Julian Allen, The University of Southern Mississippi

Emily Brown, Marymount University

Deanna D’Errico, American Association of Community Colleges

Kirk Glaze, Coca-Cola Refreshments

Cassius Johnson, Jobs for the Future

Coral Noonan-Terry, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development

Nancy Sanchez-Warren, Kaplan Educational Foundation

Linda Sanders-Hawkins, Howard University

Maryann Thomas, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY’s mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Today, through its newspaper, website and mobile platforms, USA TODAY connects readers and engages the national conversation. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.8 million daily, and USATODAY.com, an award-winning newspaper website  launched in 1995, reach a combined 5.9 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than eight million downloads on mobile devices. The USA TODAY brand also includes USA TODAY Education and USA TODAY Sports Weekly. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

Follett Higher Education Group of Oak Brook, Illinois, is the leading provider of bookstore services and the foremost supplier of used books in North America. Follett services five million students and over 400,000 faculty members through more than 900 stores, and has partnered with more community colleges than any other bookstore operator in the country. Follett also services more than 1,600 independent campus stores with its wholesale services, and has the most visited ecommerce collegiate website, efollett.com, that provides services and products through a network of more than 940 campus stores.

A leader in educational services, Follett has implemented a variety of programs to help drive down the costs of education, including its textbook rental program, Rent-A-Text, and its growing assortment of digital offerings, including CafeScribe ©. Rent-A-Text has saved students more than $280 million vs. the cost of new textbooks since its launch in 2010.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,280 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.