Two Mohave Community College students have been honored as members on a statewide academic team, and one of whom will now be considered for placement on a national academic team. Todd Myren received a first placement and Debi Pennington received second placement on the All-Arizona Academic Team. Both students are from Lake Havasu City. MCC’s students were recognized, along with 72 other Academic Team members in the state, at a ceremony in February in Mesa. The top placements in 32 state academic teams are then considered for the All-USA Academic Team. Myren’s placement earned him a national nomination. A national judging panel will choose 20 students from the state winners to comprise the All-USA Academic Team. Those students will be announced during the AACC annual convention in April in San Antonio, Texas. “I’m, of course, very honored to be on the All-Arizona Academic Team,” Myren said. “I had hoped to be a part of it, but didn’t honestly think I would get it, and I am extremely pleased to be on the First Team as well. I’m very excited, and hope that I can be a part of the All-USA Academic Team.”
Pennington also said she was grateful to have been honored as one of the Team members.
“I thought I would never be able to achieve something so spectacular,” Pennington said. “I have had such a hard time finishing school prior to this, and one of the things that I want to accomplish is obtaining a degree.”
Full-tuition scholarships to Arizona’s three state universities are available to All-Arizona Academic Team members who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree. The students also receive medallions and certificates.
In Arizona, each community college and university may nominate two students per campus to the International Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) organization for judging. For 85 years, PTK has been recognized as the official honor society for two-year colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
To qualify, students must have a minimum grade-point-average of 3.50, be in good academic standing and working toward an associate degree, and be involved in campus or community volunteerism. Judges include business, civic, education and federal government and education association leaders.
“MCC is honored to have two students recognized for their outstanding achievements in their academics and volunteer services,” said MCC President Dr. Michael Kearns. “These students have worked very hard to earn their nominations and we look forward to their continued success as they pursuit their higher education goals.”
Myren, who is home-schooled, is pursuing a liberal arts degree from MCC and plans to transfer to Azusa Pacific University or Grand Canyon University to pursuit a degree in business. He eventually would like to co-own a business with his brother, he said. Myren has volunteered for the Relay for Life, the National Honor Society, and he plays piano and clarinet at local assisted living and nursing facilities.
“I heard that MCC had good instructors and challenging classes where I could get college credit while finishing high school,” he said. “At MCC, I am earning my AA degree in Liberal Arts, and will graduate in May of this year. Most all of my instructors have been exceptional, with high praise going to Mrs. (Laurel) Clifford and Mr. (Dan) Pund. I intend to transfer to a university and major in International Business. I have taken one business class at MCC and am in the middle of my second one. “
Pennington is beginning her bachelor’s degree at MCC before she plans to transfer to the ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City. She plans to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in industrial organization psychology. Pennington is active in Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America at the Interagency Council, local food banks, and volunteers for MCC events.
“I realized from my struggles, and working at Interagency Council, that my true passion was psychology, and I have done well in the pursuit of this degree,” she said. “MCC has given me the opportunity to challenge myself in ways that helped me grow where I did not feel I could. It has helped me in gaining my associates degree to be able to transfer to ASU to finish my degree.”
Phi Theta Kappa, American Association of Community Colleges, Arizona Community Colleges, Arizona Board of Regents and USA TODAY help these exceptional students reach their educational goals by awarding scholarships and issuing tuition waivers.
MCC offers strong academic support programs for all students, including a thorough orientation to prepare new students for college life, introductory classes to strengthen student study skills and free access to the Student Success Center, which provides guidance for writing and math studies.
MCC encourages anyone who is interested in starting a new career to fill out the free application online at www.mohave.edu/admissions, complete the placement exams and schedule an initial appointment with an advisor. Summer registration is expected to begin soon and is an ideal time for new students to begin their college experience. For more information, call 866-664-2832 or chat with MCC staff at www.mohave.edu.
MCC ALL-AZ: MCC President Dr. Michael Kearns, and students Debi Pennington and Todd Myren attend the All-Arizona Academic Team ceremony in Mesa.