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Two EAC student scholars honored at state event

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Two EAC student scholars honored at state event

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—Two Eastern Arizona College students were honored along with students from Arizona’s other community colleges at the 19th Annual All-Arizona Academic Team ceremony and luncheon in Mesa earlier this month.

The All-Arizona Academic Team is a state competition that complements the All-USA Academic Team, a national scholarship program. Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, USA Today, and the American Association of Community Colleges, sponsor the national competition.

During the competition leading up to the luncheon, the students were ranked and placed on a first team, second team, and third team. At the ceremony the students received a certificate, a medallion, and a scholarship check. First team members receive a $1,000 cash award, second team members receive a $750 cash award, and third team members receive a $500 cash award.

In addition, each of the student honorees received a four-semester tuition waiver at their choice of any of the three state universities in Arizona. Abdullah Matalgah was named to the Second All-Arizona Academic Team. Majoring in engineering with pre-med, he has a 3.93 GPA, and plans to transfer to the University of Arizona. He has received the EAC Chemistry Freshman Achievement Award, Outstanding Freshman Physics Student Award, and the Outstanding Mathematics Student of 2013-2014.

“Stop complaining and be happy. Then your life will be happy,” says Matalgah. “This quote was created inside me after applying the Prophet Mohammad’s quote: ‘Smiling in your brother’s face is philanthropy.’” He goes on to say, “By applying this idea in my own life, the people around me become happy and it makes me happier, too!”

JaNae Hancock was named to the Third All-Arizona Academic Team. Majoring in nursing, she has a 4.0 GPA, and plans to transfer to Arizona State University. She is currently Phi Theta Kappa vice- president and a volunteer clerk at local auctions. She was also on the Dean’s List all four semesters, and was an academic scholarship recipient. Her favorite quote is by Gordon B. Hinkley, “Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight.” The two EAC students are part of a select group of Arizona community college students who earned a spot on the All-Arizona Academic Team.

Scholars from Arizona’s community colleges were chosen for the recognition based on their academic achievement, leadership, and service to the community.

Since its inception in 1990, the national partnership between Phi Theta Kappa, USA Today, and the American Association of Community Colleges has provided international recognition and more than $1.5 million in scholarship opportunities for hundreds of outstanding community college students and the institutions they represent. The All-Arizona Academic Team component was established in 1996 as a joint effort between the Arizona Community College Presidents, the Arizona Community College Association, Arizona Board of Regents, USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

The purpose of the annual All-Academic Team is to recognize scholarly achievements of students from junior, technical, and community colleges. Students are ranked according to academic recognition, honors and awards, activities and leadership, community service and work experience, student essay, academic course rigor, and letters of recommendation.

Each student nominated for the All-Arizona Academic Team maintains at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, is in good academic standing, while working towards an associate degree, and is involved in campus or community volunteerism.