At a special ceremony in Nashville Feb. 2, two of Jackson State Community College’s students were honored for academic excellence. Summer Vaughn and Matthew Ballard were honored along with other students from Tennessee’s 13 community colleges. In all, there were 26 outstanding students that were named to the 2015 All-Tennessee Academic Team at a special luncheon at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville.
Summer has been actively involved in Phi Theta Kappa at Jackson State where she currently serves as president for the organization. She is scheduled to graduate from the nursing program at JSCC in May and has completed the requirements to be an honors graduate. After graduation, Summer plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin to obtain her BSN. From that point, she plans to attend Union University and earn her doctorate as a nurse anesthetist.
Matthew will graduate JSCC this spring with a major in physics. His goal is to continue his studies in physics and to obtain a Ph.D. He has an ultimate career goal of being a theoretical physicist. Matthew has a wide range of interests that include playing and writing music, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and spending time outdoors.
Dr. Anna Esquivel, advisor and sponsor for Phi Theta Kappa at JSCC, comments, “Both Summer and Matthew have demonstrated excellent leadership skills as officers in Phi Theta Kappa. That they have been able to actively engage in their campus community while maintaining excellence in their studies is a testament to their academic achievement.”
Dr. Bruce Blanding, JSCC president, stated, “[Summer and Matthew] deserve this honor, and we are very proud of their accomplishments. Their involvement in PTK has provided them with leadership opportunities that will better prepare them for the next steps in their academic and professional careers.”
The All-Tennessee Academic Team is comprised of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Each of the state’s 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership and service to the community.
Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than 2 million members and 1,200 chapters in the U.S. and beyond. Students must have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average to qualify for membership.