Cowley students honored in Topeka

March 17, 2020

Dr. Dennis C. Rittle with Priscilla Bianchini and Jeannie QuallsOn Thursday, March 12, three Cowley students, Priscilla Bianchini, Jeannie Qualls and Hattie Staley, were honored in Topeka for their outstanding accomplishments at the 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 advisor, Jennifer Rupp; the family of the students, Lucas Bianchini and Tina Qualls; along with various state representatives, legislatures, and university presidents were on hand to congratulate the students.

“I am incredibly proud of these students,” Rupp said. “They are wonderful representatives of Cowley College.”

The students received an honorary medallion and certificate. They also received a scholarship earlier in the month at the Phi Theta Kappa Induction ceremony.

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.

There were three student speakers at the event, including Cowley College’s own Priscilla Bianchini, Phi Theta Kappa President for the Alpha Gamma Upsilon chapter. She spoke about her transition to Cowley College as an international student and the advantages of attending a community college.

“The most important thing that I could learn studying at Cowley was the meaning of the word ‘opportunity.’ Bianchini said.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 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.