STLCC Students Named Phi Theta Kappa All-Missouri Scholars
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Five St. Louis Community College students will be recognized for academic excellence in April.
Four of the STLCC students have been chosen to the All-Missouri Academic Transfer Teams, sponsored by the Missouri Community College Association and Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year institutions.
Students chosen were Scott Diep and Mohaddese Mirzaee, who attend STLCC-Forest Park, and Hanna Huynh and Jacquelyn Weaver, who attend STLCC-Wildwood.
Sumerlyn Rennols, who attends STLCC-Wildwood, was named to the All-Missouri PTK Workforce Scholar First Team.
Members of the All-Missouri teams are selected based on the extent to which they meet the definition of the word “scholar,” which PTK defines as “one who excels in the classroom, has the intellectual curiosity to pursue an academic career and cultural enrichment outside the traditional classroom, shows evidence of substantial development of talents in academics and technical education, and has demonstrated an ability to share this development with others.”
The Missouri PTK Workforce Scholar award recognizes outstanding academic achievement by students who plan to enter the workforce after earning a degree or certificate.
All-Missouri Academic Transfer First Team
Scott Diep is one of 49 students who was also named a 2021 New Century Transfer Pathways Scholar. New Century Transfer Pathway Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities, and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Only one New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar is selected from each state. The program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges, and PTK.
Diep has spent two years at Forest Park working on his Associate in Science degree to prepare for a four-year college education. With his love for astronomy and his know-how in building things, Diep believed mechanical engineering offered the best of both worlds and wished to pursue such a degree. Diep hopes to become a leader in the engineering field and inspire many generations to come by designing space telescopes or planet rovers of the future. Diep chose to attend STLCC-Forest Park because of its science programs that would prepare him to transfer to a four-year college. Diep has found Forest Park to be a convenient place for managing his time between work and school responsibilities. Once he graduates from STLCC, Diep hopes to transfer to Washington University or the University of Missouri-St. Louis-Washington University Joint Engineering program.
Mohaddese Mirzaee, a second-year international student at Forest Park, is working on a business administration degree. She plans to transfer to Washington University to focus on business and entrepreneurship. She is passionate about being an entrepreneur and creating work opportunities for people by using innovative ideas. She especially likes working on empowering and inspiring women in Muslim countries. Mirzaee chose STLCC-Forest Park because it offered a cost-effective, flexible, convenient, and high-quality option for her education. She notes that Forest Park has provided her a very diverse and beneficial education experience.
Mirzaee recently earned second prize and $100 in the Study Missouri Consortium International Day Photo Contest. This annual event normally is held at the Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City, and attracts more than 300 international and study-abroad students for a day-long event. It was conducted virtually this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
All-Missouri Academic Transfer Second Team
Hanna Huynh is pursuing a degree in general transfer studies at Wildwood. She is also a dual enrollment student, working to earn her high school diploma through STLCC’s Early College program with the Rockwood School District. After she graduates this May, Huynh plans to transfer to the University of Missouri to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
“I’m eternally grateful for the two years I have spent at STLCC and the opportunities I’ve received through my involvement with PTK,” she said. “The experience has not only provided me with a great education, but it’s allowed me to make wonderful friendships along the way. It’s truly been amazing, and if I could go back and do it all over again, I would.”
Jacquelyn Weaver is an honors student at Wildwood and the vice president of service for Beta Rho Epsilon. In May, she will graduate with an associate degree in behavioral health support. A lifelong learner, Weaver, 48, chose this path because she wants to serve others. After graduation, she plans to continue her education by earning a master’s degree in either counseling or social work. Her ultimate goal is to establish a nonprofit organization that provides transitional housing to teens struggling with addiction.
“Don’t let your age stop you from achieving your goals,” she said. “I’ve received so many blessings from this experience and have found a career field I absolutely love. While going back school can seem daunting at first, the payoff is worth it.”
All-Missouri Workforce Scholar First Team
Sumerlyn Rennols graduated from Wildwood with a degree in general transfer studies in May 2020. In addition to this degree, she is currently pursuing an associate degree in deaf communication studies’ specialty in interpreter education. Once she completes this program and earns her certification, she would like to work as a sign language interpreter in the medical field.
At Wildwood, Rennols served as vice president of communications for Beta Rho Epsilon. She was also actively involved in several other campus organizations including Green for Life, Volunteers of Wildwood, Student Government and Deaf Communication Studies. Outside of class, Rennols works as a lead pharmacy chemotherapy infusion tech at Saint Louis University Hospital.
“PTK has help me achieve so much, and it has made me more confident in what I want to do,” Rennols said. “I am thankful to have received the PTK All-Missouri scholarship. These funds will go a long way in helping me pay for my second degree.”
Missouri was the first state in the nation to honor outstanding Phi Theta Kappa scholar-leaders with a state academic team program. The tradition began in 1994, and today 36 other states have adopted the idea. Missouri recently added the recognition for students specifically entering the workforce.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, students all will be recognized virtually at MCCA's annual PTK and Student Leadership Luncheon April 25 in Jefferson City, Mo. The event is slated 11:30 p.m.-1:10 p.m. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, PTK’s president and CEO, will be the keynote speaker.