Estrella Mountain Community College students Ethan Kilduff and Taina Rodriguez were among 25 high-achieving Phi Theta Kappa honor students representing all 10 Maricopa Community Colleges celebrated during the 2021 All-Arizona Academic Recognition Ceremony.
The virtual ceremony March 4 celebrated the outstanding academic achievements, community service and distinguished leadership of students enrolled in Arizona’s community colleges.
All-Arizona students demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society, according to a release.
Mr. Kilduff plans to transfer to the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University to complete his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology degree. Following his undergraduate studies, he intends to complete a doctorate in physical therapy, ultimately aiming for his career goal of becoming a physical therapist.
Ms. Rodriguez plans to transfer to Arizona State University College of Integrative Sciences and Arts to pursue a bachelors in re-veterinary science. Her career goal is to be an ophthalmologist veterinarian while serving in the Army.
Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs; the American Association of Community Colleges; Arizona Community Colleges; the Arizona Board of Regents and the Follett Higher Education Group help exceptional students reach their educational goals by awarding scholarships and issuing tuition waivers for eligible students to Arizona’s three state universities: ASU, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.
Judging consists of three rounds. First-round judges are local business, civic, education and government leaders. The second and third rounds take place in Washington, D.C., by representatives from federal agencies and national education associations. Scores from the national competition determine state team rankings. First Team members each receive a $1,000 scholarship, Second Team members a $750 scholarship and Third Team members a $500 scholarship, the release stated.
The virtual All-Arizona ceremony, hosted on mesacc.edu/live, was emceed by Grant Woods, a Phi Theta Kappa alumnus and past Arizona attorney general. It included a welcome from Cochise Community College President J.D. Rottweiler, Ph.D. and Gov. Doug Ducey read the proclamation and address honorees.
Ashley Knister, a Yavapai College and Northern Arizona University alumna, and previous All-Arizona Academic Team honoree, was keynote speaker, sharing stories from her educational journey and career in local broadcasting.
All-Arizona Academic Team members are eligible to be selected as one of 20 to be named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team, receiving an additional $5,000 scholarship, medallion, obelisk and a certificate during the American Association of Community Colleges Annual Convention set for April 11 to 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Learn more about the All-Arizona program at azregents.edu/programs/all-arizona-academic-team.