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Press Release


February 16, 2018

Fuentes and Whitcomb honored at All-State Academic Team luncheon

On Thursday, February 15, two Cowley students, Edgar Fuentes and Kelsie Whitcomb, were honored in Topeka for their outstanding accomplishments at the 23rd Annual Kansas All-State Academic Team luncheon sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa and the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees.

Cowley College president, Dr. Dennis C. Rittle; Phi Theta Kappa advisors, Deborah and Scott Layton; executive director of student affairs, Jason O’Toole; the parents of the students, Pablo and Francisca Fuentes and Chris Whitcomb; along with various state representatives, legislatures, and university presidents were on hand to congratulate the students.

The students received an honorary medallion and certificate and a stipend for educational use, as well as a minimum of a $1,000 scholarship for their transfer institutions: Washburn and Fort Hays State University.

To provide scholastic recognition and promote excellence at two year colleges, the State Academic Teams were introduced in 1994 as a division of the All-USA Community College Academic Team, presented by USA Today and sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa and Follett Higher Education Group.  Students competed in the fall through an extensive application process and were selected based on their academic achievement, leadership and service.

The keynote speaker for the day was Dr. Liang Chi Wee, president of Northeast Iowa Community College. He advised the students that we are “always a work in progress” and that we must continue to learn, grow and adapt. He also imparted what he said he learned early in life from his mother, which was the importance of the collective and common good.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education with 1285 chapters in all 50 states and eight sovereign nations and has been designated the “official honor society for two-year colleges” by the American Association of Community Colleges. Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are invited to join after completing 12 hours at the community college.