Several St. Louis Community College students will be recognized for academic excellence this month.
STLCC-Wildwood students Breana Houska and Sarah Larash have been named 2018 Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholars. The students each will receive a $1,500 scholarship. STLCC-Meramec’s Christine George was named a Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship.
Selection as a Coca-Cola Scholar is based on the scores these students earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition, for which more than 2,000 applications were received this year. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership and engagement in college and community service.
Houska and Larash each received other scholarships for their involvement with PTK.
Houska is one of 15 students nationwide chosen as a Guistwhite Scholar. This program recognizes students for their engagement and participation in PTK chapter activities and societal programs who also exhibit leadership accomplishments and outstanding academic achievement. She will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
Larash is one of two students nationwide chosen to receive a $1,500 GEICO Pathway Scholarship. It is awarded to PTK students who have held significant leadership positions on campus or in their communities.
Houska and Larash will both graduate with associate degrees in May.
Houska plans to transfer to Saint Louis University to complete a bachelor’s degree in geology. Her career goal is to become a volcanologist, studying volcanos and traveling the world.
Larash plans to transfer to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a certificate in trauma studies. From there, she would like to earn a master’s degree in social work so she can build a career as a victim’s advocate, helping survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
George is an industrial engineering major with an eye for efficiency and organization. She has helped organize many different events for the Circle of Life Club and PTK chapter. She also tutors math and chemistry in the campus Academic Support labs.
Missouri PTK Workforce Scholars
Two Meramec students, Sanghee Grace Kim and Amy Utlee, have been named Missouri PTK Workforce Scholars. The Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) initiated these awards to recognize outstanding academic achievement by students who plan to enter the workforce after earning a degree or certificate.
Kim is studying health information technology and plans to embark on a career as a medical coder. Eventually, Kim would like to become a certified coding specialist through the American Association of Professional Coders.
Utlee is in the physical therapist assistant program. She is a member of the National Technical Honor Society, as well as a recipient of the Board of Trustees Continuing Education Award and the Bowling for Scholars Award. After graduation, Utlee plans to work as a physical therapist assistant in a skilled nursing, rehab hospital or an outpatient setting.
All-Missouri Academic Teams
Eight STLCC students were named to the MCCA/PTK All-Missouri Academic Teams, an honor bestowed on the state’s top community college students.
Breana Houska, Sarah Larash, Christine George, Ashmika Ramsingh (Forest Park) and Esma Karakas (Meramec) were named to the All-Missouri First Team.
Florissant Valley student Hans Hernandez was named to the All-Missouri Second Team, while Dawn Lyles (Florissant Valley) and Emanuel Huffman (Forest Park) were chosen for the All-Missouri Third Team.
Missouri was the first state in the nation to honor outstanding PTK scholar-leaders with a state academic team program. The tradition began in 1994, and today 36 other states have adopted the idea. PTK selects students to be on the All-Missouri Academic Teams.
All of these students all will be recognized at MCCA’s annual PTK and Student Leadership luncheon April 25 in Jefferson City, Mo.