50 New Century Scholars Receive $100,000 in Scholarships

Jackson, Mississippi – Fifty community college students from the United States and American Samoa have been named 2015 New Century Scholars – receiving a total of $100,000 in scholarships. The New Century Scholars program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

The New Century Scholars program and All-USA Community College Academic Team, which is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group and presented by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa, share a common application and together recognize outstanding community college students. More than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 1,000 community colleges for recognition. Judges consider grades, leadership, activities and, most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

New Century Scholars are the highest scoring students in each state, plus one student from among one of the seven sovereign nations where Phi Theta Kappa is represented internationally. Each scholar will receive a $2,000 scholarship and be presented at the AACC Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

“We appreciate the support of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation to recognize the outstanding academic achievement and leadership accomplishments of these remarkable community college students,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley. “These scholarships provided by organizations like Coca-Cola make the goal of college completion possible – especially during these challenging economic times.”

The 2015 New Century Scholars are:

Alabama– Catherine Kennedy, Alabama Southern Community College- Thomasville Campus

Alaska– Gayle Kildal, Prince William Sound Community College- Valdez Campus

American Samoa– Leli’a Chang, American Samoa Community College- Pago Pago Campus

Arizona– Valerie Le Grande, Mesa Community College- Southern/Dobson Campus

Arkansas– Myrlinda Huff, Northwest Arkansas Community College- Main Campus

California– Sarah Taha, San Diego Mesa College- San Diego Campus

Colorado– John Whatley, Arapahoe Community College- Littleton Campus

Connecticut– Keri Renner, Manchester Community College- Manchester Campus

Delaware– Vernell Brown, Delaware Technical Community College- Wilmington Campus

Florida– Zeinab Noureddine, Miami Dade College- InterAmerican Campus

Georgia– Aemah Badri, Georgia Perimeter College- Clarkston Campus

Hawaii– Reschi Karla Ramo, Leeward Community College- Pearl City Campus

Idaho– Lisa Snyder, College of Western Idaho- Nampa Campus

Illinois– Ashley Williams, Illinois Valley Community College- Oglesby Campus

Indiana– Jacob Hornung-Betz, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana- Sellersburg Campus

Iowa– Janel Orton, Southeastern Community College- West Burlington Campus

Kansas– Thaina Dos Santos Jensen, Highland Community College- Kansas Campus

Kentucky– Berniece Combs, Somerset Community College- Laurel Campus

Louisiana– Stephen Martinez, Baton Rouge Community College- Baton Rouge Campus

Maine– Saman Baghestani, Southern Maine Community College- South Portland Campus

Maryland– Mason Buran, Montgomery College- Rockville Campus

Massachusetts– Quan Nguyen, Bunker Hill Community College- Boston Campus

Michigan– Kathy Tahtinen, Northwestern Michigan College- Traverse City Campus

Minnesota– Audua Pugh, North Hennepin Community College- Brooklyn Park Campus

Mississippi– Jordan Davis, Meridian Community College- Meridian Campus

Missouri– Alina Ghulam Rasool, Cottey College- Nevada Campus

Montana– Tiffany Benner, Miles Community College- Miles City Campus

Nebraska– Ethan Nelson, Western Nebraska Community College- Scottsbluff Campus

Nevada– Ewelina Obrochta, College of Southern Nevada- Charleston/North Las Vegas Campus

New Hampshire– Evan Lawrence, Great Bay Community College- Stratham Campus

New Jersey– Rhonda Richardsen, Bergen Community College- Paramus Campus

New Mexico– Heather Kangas, New Mexico State University-Alamogordo- Alamogordo Campus

New York– Anastassiya Neznanova, LaGuardia Community College- Long Island City Campus

North Carolina– Paulette Gardner, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College- Technical Campus

North Dakota– Sara Holcomb, North Dakota State College of Science- Wahpeton Campus

Ohio– Hannah Kiraly, Cuyahoga Community College- Western Campus

Oklahoma– Macie Gillock, Redlands Community College- El Reno Campus

Oregon– Tuong Hoang, Portland Community College- Rock Creek Campus

Pennsylvania– Aaron Rosengarten, Northampton Community College- Main Campus

Rhode Island– Allison Contillo, Community College of Rhode Island- Liston/Providence Campus

South Carolina– Caroline France, Greenville Technical College- Greenville Campus

Tennessee– Brandon Hayes, Walters State Community College- Morristown Campus

Texas– Jhoalmo Sibrian, Tarrant County College- Southeast Campus

Utah– David Godoy, Salt Lake Community College- Salt Lake City Campus

Vermont– Rachel Friedman, Landmark College- Putney Campus

Virginia– Brianna DiSanza, Germanna Community College- Fredericksburg Campus

Washington– David Yama, South Seattle College- South Campus

West Virginia– Sarah Stewart, West Virginia University – Parkersburg

Wisconsin– Ryan Boyer, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College- Green Bay Campus

Wyoming– Tessa Robinson, Gillette College- Gillette Campus

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, Peru, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.

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