Two JCJC students awarded top PTK awards and scholarships

Written By: Teresa Martin
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Date Submitted: 2012-04-05 18:18:36

ELLISVILLE – Two Jones County Junior College sophomores were recently awarded with top honors at the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s New Century Scholars/All-Mississippi Academic Team recognition luncheon in Jackson. Jordy White, a pre-med major from Benton was selected to the First Team Academic All-American Team, a Coca-Cola Gold Team Scholar, and a Guistewhite Scholar. White, the only Mississippian chosen, was one of twenty PTK members internationally who will be receiving a $5,000 scholarship as a prestigious, Guistewhite Scholar. The Guistewhite recipients were selected by a panel of independent judges from more than 2,240 applicants to receive this scholarship, the second highest offered by Phi Theta Kappa. Additionally, White will earn $1,500 in scholarships as a Coca-Cola Gold Scholar.
“I feel so honored to be the recipient of these two prestigious awards. Being chosen for these honors is something I find hard to grasp when there were so many applicants,” said White.

JCJC sophomore, Katie Pittman, a nursing major from Bay Springs was selected to the Second Team All-Mississippi Academic Team and will also receive $1,250 as a Coca-Cola Silver Team Scholar. 
“Being recognized as part of the 2012 All-Mississippi Academic Second Team was one of my most rewarding accomplishments through Phi Theta Kappa. I was grateful to be among students that excel in academics and leadership abilities,” said Pittman. 
The additional honor as a Coca-Cola Silver Scholar came as a great surprise to Pittman. “Gaining the achievement of Coca-Cola Silver Scholar is an appreciated blessing. These awards are among many other opportunities that have been afforded to me because of my leadership role in Phi Theta Kappa; it has been an honor to be a part of such an extraordinary campus organization.”
Both of these students were nominated for these PTK honors because they maintained a 3.5 to 4.0 GPA, have taken challenging academic courses, have completed a minimum of 36 hours, are busy serving the community and college in various ways and did well in an interview with the JCJC scholarship committee.  The PTK scholarships are based on the 1,700 applicants’ scores earned in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition. 
“One of the most rewarding elements of my work at Jones County Junior College is being able to see students develop leadership skills and excel in their endeavors,” said PTK sponsor Julie Atwood.  “Both Jordy White and Katie Pittman have been exceptional student leaders, and I have been most honored to work with them.  Not only will they solidly represent Jones, but they are also strong representatives for Mississippi.”
White’s activities and honors include being a Jones Ambassador, a PTK officer, a member of the Student Government Association, Science Club, and a Charles Pickering Honors College student. Both students have made the President’s List honor roll and have earned the Letter “J” Award, while keeping a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Pittman is the secretary of Phi Theta Kappa and the Student Government Association, coordinator for the Spirit Committee, and a member of the JCJC Bobcat Brigade and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society. She was also a member of the 2010 Homecoming Court as a Freshman Maid and 2011 Student Body Maid. 
Both honorees were a part of the nine-member leadership team of the Rho Sigma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa which received a historic number of regional chapter awards and will compete at the Phi Theta Kappa Annual Convention in Nashville, TN, April 12-14. White will be recognized at the International Convention as a Guistewhite Scholar.
“I am really excited about the upcoming international convention. This is such a blessing to me, and I am so grateful for the opportunities that Phi Theta Kappa has given me to develop my leadership abilities,” White acknowledged.
Past recipients of similar individual honors include JCJC 2011 graduate, Karen Lott of Leakesville who earned First Team Academic All-American honors and was selected as a Coca-Cola Silver Team Scholar. Kraig Simpson, a 2010 JCJC alumnus from Soso was chosen as a New Century Scholar and was a Guistewhite Scholar. 
One of the requirements for the PTK All-USA Community College Academic Team competition includes community service. White spent two weeks last summer in Ghana, Africa with students from Delta State University teaching orphaned children science, math and English, and holding Bible school at night. Pittman assisted in the coordination of “The Backyard Bible Club” with Indian Springs Church in Laurel. She helped to set up tents in the downtown Laurel area, offering arts and crafts, games, Bible study, music and food for kids of all ages. 
The USA Today Academic Team program annually recognizes 60 outstanding two-year college students. First, Second, and Third Teams, each consisting of 20 members, are selected from the nominees. The 20 First Team members receive stipends of $2,500 each. All 60 members of the All- USA Academic Team and their colleges will receive extensive national recognition through coverage in USA TODAY in the April 23rd issue. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundationby recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars, and providing nearly $187,500 in scholarships annually, and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.


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