All-State Academic Students Honored at Legislature
Scholarship award recipients are, from left to right, Front Row -- Emily Sarvis, Esperanza (Hope) Leyva, Tiffany Ruelas, Angela Shepard, Iran Rodriguez and Jennifer Weber. Back Row: Carrie Ratkevich, Nicholas (Levi) Turner and Robert Maler.
The students -- Robert Maler, Emily Sarvis, Tiffany Ruelas, Angela Sheppard, Carrie Ratleveh, Nicholas Turner, Esperanza Leyva, Jennifer Weber, Ihsan Wadud-Rodriquez and Ian Rodriguez -- are joining an elite group. Less than one percent of America’s six million two-year college students have distinguished themselves with this superior level of academic achievement and service to their colleges and communities.
The scholarship is nationwide. Each state selects its own All-State Academic Team and holds its own recognition award ceremony for the recipients.
New Mexico recognized its All-State team Jan. 29 during the Legislative session. The awardees introduced themselves in the Education Committee, followed by personal congratulations greetings by the senators. During the introductions, the awardees stated their names, community colleges, majors and their educational goals once they are at a four-year university. The awardees were mentioned again on both the House and Senate floors. Following their recognitions, the students had lunch with CNM Vice President Philip Bustos.
Each student will receive $15,000 scholarships to pursue bachelor’s degrees at a New Mexico public university of their choice to cover tuition for four semesters.. It becomes effective once the awardees begin their studies at a four-year university of their choice within the state.
To be eligible for the All-New Mexico Academic Team, the students are required to have a minimum 3.5 grade point average with at least 45 credit hours on their transcripts. They were also judged on criteria such as participation in student organizations, community service, awards and special recognitions and an essay.
Students from the 38 participating states nominated to the All-USA Community College Academic Team are automatically named to the All-State Community College Academic Teams. Scholarship sponsors are Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for two-year colleges, New Mexico Association of Community Colleges and New Mexico Independent Community Colleges.
Phi Theta Kappa was founded in 1918 to emphasize and recognize academic excellence in two-year colleges. Today, Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1.5 million members in the United States, U.S. territories, Canada and Germany.