Four MSJC Students Earn Prestigious Recognition for Academics

March 2​9, 2018

Students are in MSJC’s Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and the Honors Enrichment Program

Bill Seaton, Megan Anderson, James Riback and Merari de la CruzFour Mt. San Jacinto College honors students earned prestigious state and international recognition for their academic achievements and will be recognized next month.

Three of the students were named to the First Team, All California Academic Team: William Seaton, of Menifee, was named a 2018 Coca-Cola Gold Scholar. Seaton will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Megan Anderson, of Temecula, is a 2018 Coca-Cola Silver Scholar. She will receive a $1,250 scholarship. James Riback, of Hemet, earned the 2018 Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The fourth student, Merari de la Cruz of Moreno Valley, was named to the Second Team, All California Academic Team.

In addition, Seaton was also selected to receive the GEICO Pathway to Completion Bachelor's Degree Scholarship, a $1,500 scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa, an international honors society, and GEICO.

“The recognition these students are receiving is a testament to their hard work and the dedication of their faculty and honors advisors,” said Dr. Roger Schultz, superintendent/president of Mt. San Jacinto College. “MSJC has a long history of students who have been named to All California Academic Teams and I am proud to see that tradition continue.”

All four of the students will be recognized at the Phi Theta Kappa, All California Academic Team Luncheon on April 2 in Sacramento. The three First Team members will be recognized internationally during Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention, PTK Catalyst, April 19-21 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said J. Mark Davis, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals.”

Students are nominated for the academic team by their college administrators. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars annually. According to the PTK web site, this year Coca Cola provided $187,500 in scholarships. Each scholar also receives a commemorative medallion.

“We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for recognizing these student leaders and for investing in their futures,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “Scholarships like these are integral to the success of these students in reaching their educational and career goals.”

GEICO and Phi Theta Kappa give awards to society members who have held a significant leadership position on campus or in their communities, with preference given to those who have held chapter, regional, or international office.

Dr. Jeremy Brown, interim vice president of Instruction at MSJC, praised the students for their academic achievements and for making important contributions to their communities.

“I am excited to see our students recognized as the best of the best,” Brown said. “I am proud to see these students take such important steps toward successful careers.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations. Learn more at ptk.org.

Pictured are Bill Seaton, Megan Anderson, James Riback and Merari de la Cruz.