FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Coconino Community College student Justin Wilgus has been named a 2013 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars nationwide and providing nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each Gold Scholar receives a $1,500 scholarship and a special medallion.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society administers the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program and recognizes Coca-Cola Community College scholars during All-State Community College Academic Team Recognition ceremonies held in 38 states. Student scholars also receive recognition locally during ceremonies held on campus and internationally for those who are able to attend Phi Theta Kappa's Annual Convention, which will be held this year, April 4-6, in San Jose, California.
Community college presidents or their designated nominators may submit no more than two nominations per campus for this award. An independent panel of judges considers outstanding academic rigor, grade point average, academic and leadership awards, and engagement in college and community service in the selection process.
Wilgus was part of CCC's All-Arizona Academic Team. College officials look at scholarship, community and college involvement and service. Once selected, Phi Theta Kappa reviews the application and ranks the students onto first, second and third teams. Students selected for the first team go on to compete for national ranking.
All students selected also receive a tuition waiver from the Arizona Board of Regents to attend either Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University or the University of Arizona. Students also receive a CCC scholarship based on their ranking. First team members receive $1,000, second team members: $750 and third team members: $500.
This year, Wilgus and Emily White were chosen for the First Team, both are from the Flagstaff campuses. Lucas Rayburn and Brittany Fat-Denatsosie, both from the Page campus, were chosen for the Second Team.
"We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for their vote of confidence in community college students by investing in their futures," said Dr. Rod Risley, Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa. "Their support is especially welcome during this challenging economic climate, as more and more community college students need additional resources to help them complete their degrees."
"The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges," said J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. "We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals."
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, Peru, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.