JWCC’s Phi Theta Kappa members attend All-Illinois Community College Academic Team ceremony


Matthew Kim, left, and Catharine Miller | Photo courtesy of John Wood Community College

SPRINGFIELD — John Wood Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa organization recently attended the All-Illinois Community College Academic Team recognition ceremony.

Attending the ceremony were JWCC advisor and English instructor Jennifer Grindstaff, JWCC Dean of Students and Enrollment Management Tracy Orne and Phi Theta Kappa member Catharine Miller of Pittsfield, who is majoring in elementary education. Matthew Kim of Quincy, who is majoring in kinesiology, did not attend the ceremony.

The All-Illinois Academic Team members were recognized for their distinguished academic achievement and leadership accomplishments. The team members are selected by their institutions to receive this honor and are known by their college administrators and faculty as the best examples of student success.

Miller was awarded the Phi Theta Kappa Guistwhite Scholar and will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Her selection was based on the score she earned in the Guistwhite Scholarship Competition, for which more than 2,700 applications were received. Miller was one of only eight students to be selected for this honor.

Miller also is a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship, designed to create a pathway to a four-year degree by offering up to $55,000 per year along with academic advising and access to a network of peers. 

In a press release, Grindstaff said, “We are so proud of the PTK members and their hard work this year. Many have received scholarships and will transfer to their next colleges as wonderful representatives of John Wood Community College. We are thrilled to celebrate and honor these students.”

Phi Theta Kappa, an international honors organization with more than 900 chapters, recognizes academic achievement at the community college level. The Alpha Tau Gamma chapter at John Wood was chartered in 1991 and met throughout the year to work on fundraisers, scholarships, leadership, service and fellowship projects.

At John Wood, Phi Theta Kappa has the following membership requirements: a student must have completed 12 semester hours of associate degree work, maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and be enrolled in classes at JWCC. Students are recognized with special regalia at annual graduation ceremonies.

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