LANSING - The annual Phi Theta Kappa Awards Luncheon, honoring the 2012 All-Michigan Academic Team, was held on March 13 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing. Students were selected based on academic achievement, community service involvement, and leadership accomplishment.
The State Academic Teams are a division of the Academic All-American Team for Community, Technical and Junior College Students, an international program sponsored annually by Phi Theta Kappa, USA TODAY and the American Association of Community Colleges.
Representing Bay de Noc Community College on the 2012 All-Michigan Academic team were Olivia Barron and Patrick O'Neal.
Local individuals who took part in the Phi Theta Kappa Awards Luncheon held recently in Lansing were: from left, Olivia Barron Bay College math major; Dr. Wendolyn Tetlow, Bay College Vice President Instruction & Student Learning; and Bay student Patrick O’Neal.
Barron is in the Honors Program at Bay College's Escanaba Campus majoring in math. She is the treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa for both campuses, a math tutor and is a volunteer assistant basketball coach for a local middle school basketball program. Barron is also active in the Special Olympics basketball program and volunteers her time at St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army. After she graduates from Bay College, she plans to pursue her degree in Actuarial Science and someday work at an insurance company.
O'Neal is a 4.00 GPA honors student at Bay College's Escanaba Campus majoring in pre-engineering. He works for Bay College as a supplemental instruction leader, Math-Science Center tutor, Greenhouse assistant and Chemistry Lab assistant. O'Neal is the president of the newly revitalized Math-Science Club and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. After he graduates from Bay, his career goal is to become a chemistry professor.
The Michigan luncheon is held every year in conjunction with the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA). According to Mike Hansen, president of the MCCA, "Today was all about recognizing student excellence and achievement in community colleges. It was very inspiring to hear about the individual stories of perseverance, resilience and not giving up on your dreams."
Besides the All-Michigan Academic Team members, luncheon attendees included community college presidents, administrators and trustees, state legislators, and Phi Theta Kappa advisors. The Honorable Representative John Walsh (R-Livonia) delivered the keynote address.
Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,250 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States and throughout the world. More than two million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 100,000 students inducted annually.
MCCA provides leadership and advocacy on issues affecting the 28 member community colleges. Since 1914, community colleges have striven to provide affordable and quality higher education to Michigan residents. The community college mission is one of access and success to both traditional and nontraditional students.
Furthermore, community colleges also play an integral role in the preparation and development of the state's workforce.