Lavada Burse, a recent graduate of Grayson College in Texas, has received the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) President’s Award for Leadership Excellence, a two-year transfer scholarship of up to $30,000 each academic year.
Burse served as PTK’s 2020-2021 International President, the highest position of student leadership available in the organization. In an extraordinary year, she fostered meaningful connections with her community college peers, both individually and through her participation in virtual chapter, regional, and international events.
“In many ways, Lavada Burse represents the very best of Phi Theta Kappa and of the nation’s community college students,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, PTK’s President and CEO. “She leveraged her membership in PTK to grow personally as a leader and academically, landing herself in the top spot among community college students in this country as Phi Theta Kappa’s International President. I am so proud of all she has accomplished.”
Burse initially started college at 18, but financial struggles and food insecurity brought her first attempt to an early end. Eighteen years later, she enrolled in Grayson College’s accounting program to earn her CPA. As other students struggled to navigate a global pandemic, she courageously communicated about her own struggles as a working mom and student who battled depression. She exhibited persistence and resilience to not only graduate from Grayson College in 2021 but to also serve as the student speaker at her commencement.
Burse was recently named one of Glamour Magazine’s Community College Women of the Year, an honor that only seven women nationwide received. She will continue her education at the University of North Texas in Denton this fall.
The PTK Board of Directors nominates and selects the President’s Award for Leadership Excellence recipient. The award is presented to an outstanding member showing exemplary service, leadership, and dedication to the advancement of the mission and ideals of the Society. It is the highest honor given by the PTK Board of Directors.