All-USA Community College Academic Team Awarded $100,000 in Scholarships

San Antonio, Texas – Twenty two-year college students have been named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team, honored for their outstanding intellectual achievement and leadership with $100,000 in scholarships. Each team member received a $5,000 scholarship, furnished by Follett Higher Education Group, and all were featured in USA TODAY.

The 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team

The All-USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending community college. Nominees are hand-selected by colleges for showing intellectual rigor and for demonstrating academic, leadership and civic growth. The program also recognizes students who extend their community college education to better themselves, their schools and their surrounding communities.

The 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group and presented by USA TODAY. Additional support is provided by Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges.

This year Follett doubled its sponsorship of the 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team to provide a total of $100,000 in scholarships. Recipients were thrilled by the surprise announcement that they would each receive a $5,000 scholarship rather than the previous amount of $2,500.

“For the past five years, we have been moved and humbled by the extraordinary accomplishments of the All-USA scholarship recipients,” said Don Germano, President of Follett Higher Education Group. “This year, we’re excited to extend our support of Phi Theta Kappa and the All-USA Academic Team to provide these remarkable students with the resources needed to pursue their dreams and accomplish what may have seemed out of reach.”

Student winners were introduced at Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidents Breakfast held during the AACC Convention on April 20th in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to scholarship funds, each All-USA Community College Academic Team member was presented with a special medallion. College presidents of team members also received recognition for their leadership and a commemorative obelisk.

The 20 members of the 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team are listed below. View the 2015 Team.

  • Helene Alt, Hillsborough Community College, Florida
  • Mason Rockwell Buran, Montgomery College, Maryland
  • Brianna Leia DiSanza, Germanna Community College, Virginia
  • Macie Gillock, Redlands Community College, Oklahoma
  • Brandon Tyler Hayes, Walters State Community College, Tennessee
  • Valerie Le Grande, Mesa Community College, Arizona
  • Rachel Brianna Lee, Reading Area Community College, Pennsylvania
  • Karen Meacham, Tarrant County College, Texas
  • Anastassiya Neznanova, LaGuardia Community College, New York
  • Quan Nguyen, Bunker Hill Community College, Massachusetts
  • Audua Pugh, North Hennepin Community College, Minnesota
  • Rhonda Richardsen, Bergen Community College, New Jersey
  • Aaron Rosengarten, Northampton Community College, Pennsylvania
  • Jhoalmo Sibrian, Tarrant County College, Texas
  • Andrew Sypher, Mesa Community College, Arizona
  • Sarah Taha, San Diego Mesa College, California
  • Zeinab Noureddine Vazquez, Miami Dade College, Florida
  • Tricia Wildman, SUNY Suffolk County Community College, New York
  • Ashley Williams, Illinois Valley Community College, Illinois
  • David Michael Patrick Yama, South Seattle College, Washington

The team of 20 was selected by a panel of judges from more than 1,700 students nominated by more than 1,000 community colleges. Judges considered grades, leadership activities and, most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. The 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team final judges were:

  • Julian Allen, The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Veronika Bennett, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
  • Kevin Christian, American Association of Community Colleges
  • Linda Garcia, National American University
  • Allison Jones, Pearson Higher Education
  • Cindy Lenhart, Achieving the Dream, Inc.
  • Nancy Sanchez, Kaplan Educational Foundation
  • Lauren Snyder, Marymount University
  • Barbara Wolf Ebert, Former Phi Theta Kappa International Officer

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 totaling nearly $300,000 for 200 other outstanding community college students.

About Follett
Follett Higher Education Group is the leading provider of college and university bookstore services. Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers print and digital learning materials, retail services, library resources and school management systems on more than 980 college campuses and across 65,000 elementary and high schools. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company. Follett has partnered with more community colleges than any other bookstore operator in the country. The company implements programs to help drive down the costs of education, including its successful textbook rental program, Rent-A-Text. In the last three years, Rent-A-Text, along with the company’s used and digital options, has saved students more than $1 billion compared to the price of new textbooks.

About the American Association of Community Colleges
Headquartered in the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C., AACC is the primary advocacy organization for community colleges at the national level and works closely with directors of state offices to inform and affect state policy. The association represents nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 13 million students, as well as a growing number of international members in Puerto Rico, Japan, Great Britain, Korea and the United Arab Emirates. The colleges are the largest and fastest-growing sector of U.S. higher education, enrolling close to half (46 percent) of all U.S. undergraduates.

About Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,285 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 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually

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