Dr. E. Ann McGee, President of Seminole State College of Florida, has been named Phi Theta Kappa’s Distinguished Alumna for 2017. The award will be presented at PTK Catalyst, the society’s annual convention, in Nashville, Tennessee, April 6-8.
In years when it is appropriate, Phi Theta Kappa recognizes an alumnus who has made an impact on a global scale. This award is not presented every year and is reserved for alumni who have provided extraordinary leadership and made an impact on a national or international level.
Other former Distinguished Alumni include best-selling author Wes Moore, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mirta Ojito, Apollo XIII astronaut Fred Haise, and U.S. Ambassador David Shinn.
Since her induction as a member of the Eta Nu chapter at St. Petersburg College in Florida, McGee has provided unwavering support to Phi Theta Kappa.
“When I talk with our students at Seminole State College about their membership in Phi Theta Kappa, I always emphasize the importance of the time and talent that they dedicate to our chapter,” she said. “The return can be 150 percent, but only if they are willing to make the effort.”
Through McGee’s work with the All-Florida Community College Academic Team, hundreds of students have been recognized for their outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements.
Since her selection as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Presidential Advisory Board, McGee has been a true ambassador for the Society by making connections with other college leaders in order to increase opportunities for Phi Theta Kappa members.
As a former Trustee of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, she worked tirelessly to promote initiatives such as the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship Endowment Challenge.
McGee was the first recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Presidents Council Gold Medallion and also received the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, among numerous other national awards.
“As a college president, she has ensured that students understood the value of membership and that the chapter had access to resources to engage in Phi Theta Kappa programs on all levels,” said Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher Ladner. “We applaud her for her outstanding commitment to Phi Theta Kappa, to community colleges and higher education.”
During McGee’s tenure at Seminole State, the college has grown from a single campus to a comprehensive college offering bachelor’s degrees and programs on four campuses. Annual enrollment totals 30,000 and six sites with 30,000 students, qualifying the collge as the ninth largest of the 28 institutions in the Florida College System.
She is also a founding architect of the DirectConnect to the University of Central Florida (UCF) program, which has become a national model for state colleges and universities and allowed more than 4,500 students from Seminole State College to earn their degrees from UCF.
Fundraising has also seen tremendous growth under McGee, with the Foundation for Seminole State College growing from $1 million in assets to more than $21 million.
She celebrated her 20th anniversary at Seminole State in February 2016 and is only the second president in the college’s 50-year history.
“Serving as an officer and active member of Phi Theta Kappa at St. Petersburg College opened more doors for me than I could have imagined,” McGee said. “It set the stage for scholarships at Florida State University and provided leadership training that has been invaluable in my personal career path.”
She has served two terms on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), currently chairs the Heart of Floirida United Way, and is active on many educational and charitable boards.
In 2012 McGee received a Fulbright Community College Administrator Seminar Program Award that took her to Russia for meetings with higher education administrators to determine opportunities for partnerships with U.S. community colleges.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech and a Master of Arts in communication from Florida State University, where she was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and a Doctor of Education in higher education administration from Nova Southeastern University.
“Receiving PTK’s Distinguished Alumnus Award makes me very proud and will also provide another opportunity to talk with students about the way their service through this organization can truly change their lives,” McGee said. “I know that it has changed mine!
“I am humbled and grateful for this recognition. Thank you, Phi Theta Kappa!”