NEWBERRY — Two Piedmont Technical College students were recently among those named to the Phi Theta Kappa South Carolina All-State Academic Team.
Stephanie Johnson of Prosperity and Elizabeth McCurry of Greenwood were among the 29 students honored at a ceremony in Columbia.
Johnson and McCurry 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.
“These students have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and impressive records of service to their colleges and communities,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president of PTC. “They are the best and brightest that our state’s Technical Colleges have to offer, and I congratulate them on their many accomplishments.”
The students named to the South Carolina All-State Academic Team were selected by technical college presidents on the basis of academic performance, leadership accomplishments and service to their colleges and local communities.
In addition, these students qualify to participate in the annual All-USA Academic Team competition, sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of the Two-Year College.
Through this program, McCurry was also named a Christopher A. Calhoun Transfer Scholarship recipient. Calhoun Scholars are selected based on scores earned in the All-USA Community College Academic Competition. McCurry receives a $1,000 scholarship to help with her education at the four-year institution she is transferring to in December.
Johnson seemed to have the perfect career as a Division I assistant softball coach, but an accident changed her life. Rather than sitting around while recovering, she enrolled in the occupational therapy assistant program at Piedmont Technical College.
“While I was recuperating, I couldn’t sit still, so I had to go to school just to do something,” Johnson said. “When I was asked to join Phi Theta Kappa, I thought that was a great
honor. I never in a million years thought I would have written an essay that was good enough to represent Piedmont Technical College.”
McCurry spent many years volunteering for every organization she could find from the Humane Society to the Miracle League. This ultimately led her to wanting to work with non-profits, and she started for that goal at Piedmont Tech by pursuing an associate in arts before transferring to Lander University.
“I was encouraged by both Meredith Daniel and David Rosenbaum to apply for this scholarship,” McCurry said. “I felt blessed that both of them recognized the potential that I still don’t always see in myself.”
David Rosenbaum, associate dean of students says, “It is wonderful to see our top students recognized among the best in the state and the country. They’re so impressive not just because they’re outstanding academically, but because they give so unselfishly in service to their college and their community.”
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.