April 3, 2023

Cengage, Phi Theta Kappa and American Association of Community Colleges Award $100K in Scholarships to the Nation’s Top Community College Students

Twenty Students Named to the All-USA Academic Team for Academic Excellence and Improving their Communities

20 student headshots with award logos and text

BOSTON and JACKSON, Miss. – April 3, 2023 – Twenty of the nation’s top college students have been named to the 2023 All-USA Academic Team and will each receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Students were selected for their intellectual rigor, academic achievement, leadership, and civic growth, and for extending their educational experiences to better themselves, their colleges, and their surrounding communities. These students were nominated by their colleges for the scholarship program.

The 2023 All-USA Academic Team is sponsored by education technology provider Cengage, with additional support from Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). In addition to the scholarship, Team members receive a special medallion, and their college presidents receive a commemorative obelisk in recognition of their leadership. The All-USA Academic Team will be officially introduced and recognized during the American Association of Community Colleges’ annual convention today in Denver.

“Community colleges play an important role in providing affordable education that helps students transition successfully to the workforce,” said Edwin Robles, Senior Vice President and General Manager, US Higher Education and Canada, Cengage. “Despite community colleges having the steepest enrollment declines since the pandemic, they are also among the most innovative in taking steps to make learning more flexible, affordable and accessible. We are deeply inspired by the achievements of this year’s All-USA Academic Team as they truly represent the power and joy of learning. We are proud to support these students and their institutions and can’t wait to see what they can achieve next.”

The All-USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students seeking an associate degree or credential, and this year, more than 2,400 students were nominated for this award.

“The All-USA Academic Team represents the very best students from our nation’s community colleges,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “They are smart students, but this award is about more than being smart. These students, in addition to their work, family, and life responsibilities, have made it a priority to create positive change both on campus and in their communities. We thank Cengage for recognizing these student leaders and for investing in their futures.”

The members of the 2023 All-USA Academic Team are:

  • Carlen Arevalo, Miami Dade College (FL)
  • Brendan Batchelder, Paris Junior College (TX)
  • Albino Canales, III, Western Nebraska Community College (NE)
  • David Cassidy, Coconino Community College (AZ)
  • Jordan Chapin, Northeast Texas Community College (TX)
  • Tatiana Cherry, Calhoun Community College (AL)
  • Sarah Crespo, Ivy Tech Community College (IN)
  • Juan Dills, Rose State College (OK)
  • An Ha, Mt. San Antonio College (CA)
  • James Keller, Northeast Alabama Community College (AL)
  • Zachariah Knapp, Phoenix College (AZ)
  • Maren Larsen, Northeast Iowa Community College (IA)
  • Carine Medellus, Union College (NJ)
  • Kira Okuma, Pima Community College (AZ)
  • Bhavi Pandya, Pellissippi State Community College (TN)
  • Jacqueline Pecker, Palm Beach State College, Boca Raton Campus (FL)
  • Kelly Pilotte, NHTI - Concord’s Community College (NH)
  • Malachi Steward, University of Arkansas - Pulaski Tech (AR)
  • Holly Stiebel, Santa Monica College (CA)
  • Parmesh Thakoordial, Schenectady County Community College (NY)

To learn more about the All-USA Academic Scholarship, click here.

About Cengage

Cengage, the U.S. Higher Education business of global education technology company Cengage Group, serves millions of instructors, learners and institutions. We deliver affordable, high-quality digital products and personalized support to power learning individually and at scale. Our customer-centered approach enables innovation, including Cengage Unlimited, the first and only all-access digital subscription for textbooks and course materials. Our textbooks, homework tools, and flagship online learning platforms, MindTap and WebAssign, help educators and students achieve their goals. Visit us at www.cengage.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter and  LinkedIn.

About the American Association of Community Colleges

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. The association represents more than 1,100 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students.

About Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.8 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 countries, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more at ptk.org.