86 Community College Scholars to Receive State Honor

AUSTIN – Eighty-six students from 40 Texas community colleges will be honored Monday, March 29 at the second annual All-Texas Academic Team awards ceremony and reception.

The honorees will be recognized for outstanding achievement at the community college level during the event, which is set for 2 p.m. at the LBJ Auditorium on the UT Austin campus, 2313 Red River St. The keynote speaker will be David B. Prior, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at The University of Texas System.

Award winners were nominated by their respective institutions and selected by Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for students from two-year colleges. Nominees were evaluated on several criteria, including academic achievement, community service, leadership and expression.

“These students have demonstrated extraordinary dedication in their community college experiences, not just in the classroom, but in their interactions with other students and in their service to their communities,” said Martha Ellis, associate vice chancellor for community college partnerships for the UT System, a co-sponsor of the event. “These deserving students help shine a light on the valuable contributions our community colleges have on the state and the role they play in maintaining the economic vitality of Texas.”

Honorees will receive a medallion and a certificate commemorating their achievement. Additionally, two of the scholars, Luke Bazil and Melanie Bishop, both of Tyler Junior College, will be recognized as Guistwhite scholars, Phi Theta Kappa’s top award for two-year college students. Only 20 winners are chosen nationally for the award, which includes a $5,000 scholarship.

Besides the All-Texas Academic Team honor, 23 members also will be recognized for their selection to the Coca-Cola All-State Community College Academic Team, whose members will receive cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $1,500.

The 2010 All-Texas Academic Team awards are sponsored by the Texas Association of Community Colleges, the UT System, The University of North Texas, Texas A&M University – Commerce and Midwestern State University.

About The University of Texas System

Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

About the Texas Association of Community Colleges

The Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) is a non-profit association that includes all 50 public community college districts in the state. The General Appropriations Bill and legislation affecting public community colleges in general have been and remain the principal concerns of TACC.