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NMJC Student Named All-USA Academic Scholar

NMJC Student Named All-USA Academic Scholar photo

NMJC Student Named All-USA Academic Scholar

4/19/2010 1:04:21 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. (Hobbs, N.M.) Amy Kessler will soon be graduating from New Mexico Junior College with her degree in Cosmetology. While graduating is an accomplishment in itself, Kessler also has the distinction of being named an All-USA Academic Scholar, an honor given to only 20 two-year college students in the nation.

Each year, the board of the All-USA Community College Academic Team program selects 20 outstanding students from two-year colleges. These students are recognized through a partnership with Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and USA Today. Each student is presented with a $2,500 stipend, a medallion, and recognition through coverage in USA Today. Phi Theta Kappa sponsors the ceremonies honoring these students.

Kessler and NMJC President Steve McCleery were scheduled to attend the PTK ceremony held in Santa Fe on February 4, 2010, but officials in Santa Fe recommended that they forgo the trip due to inclement weather.

“I was excited about the nomination and looking forward to attending the reception in Santa Fe. It was very disappointing not to be able to go,” said Kessler, “but it is still an honor to be recognized.”

Since she could not attend the Santa Fe ceremony, Dr. McCleery and Vice President for Instruction, Dr. John Gratton, made arrangements for Kessler’s medal of recognition to be presented to her at the 2010 NMJC Annual Awards Assembly held on April 20.

“We are very proud of Amy,” said Dr. Gratton. “It takes a lot of work to be nominated for the All-USA Academic Scholarship, and even more work to qualify. To have one of our students recognized is an honor. NMJC is permitted to nominate two students each year, and every year we look at students who are a part of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society because they have already proven themselves to be exceptional.”

Nominees are required to have a GPA of 3.5 or above and complete a nomination packet that includes three essays. The essays describe a student’s prior community involvement and contribution to Phi Theta Kappa, as well as what they intend to do to better the community and their chapter in the future.

Kessler, who was inducted into PTK in the Spring of 2009, serves as the chapter’s secretary and treasurer. She has been involved with various PTK projects such as the Book Drive, the Foster Kids Christmas party, and the trash pickup, as well as community projects such as assisting the Hobbs Volunteer Fire Department. Originally from Corona, she moved to Hobbs for work, but decided she wanted to further her education and go into Cosmetology. She chose NMJC because of the location and the hands-on training available.

“Amy has been an exceptional student and an asset to our PTK chapter,” said Professor of Cosmetology Maria Vick, who, along with Professor of Cosmetology Maria McCreesh, serves as sponsor for the chapter. “We are proud of Amy’s achievement. It’s a really nice recognition for both NMJC and our students.”

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