Three MSJC students selected for 2016 Phi Theta Kappa All-California Academic Team

March 9, 2016

Three students will represent Mt. San Jacinto College at the annual Phi Theta Kappa Awards Luncheon on March 24 in Sacramento.  The event, sponsored by the Community College League of California, recognizes outstanding scholars from California’s community colleges.

Vanesse Hiten, Ben Pisa, and Tamara Russell have been selected for the 2016 Phi Theta Kappa All-California Academic Team.  Hiten, of Murrieta, and Russell, of Lake Elsinore, were named First Team members. Pisa, of San Jacinto, is a member of the Second Team. A total of 93 California community college students make up the first, second and third teams. To be eligible for the competition, a student must earn a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA and be eligible to graduate with an associate degree.  According to the Community College League of California website, applications are scored based on academic performance & rigor, community service, campus activities, leadership, significant endeavor, letters of recommendation, and other criteria.

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Vanesse Hiten is majoring in history.
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Ben Pisa will major in chemistry or chemical engineering.
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Tamara Russell plans on majoring in ecology.

“I am so proud of the Mt. San Jacinto College students who continue each year to earn a prestigious ranking on the Phi Theta Kappa All-California Team and our faculty who provide the support so our students can reach these achievements,” said Dr. Roger Schultz, MSJC Superintendent/President. “This is an example of the commitment at MSJC to provide a quality education to our students.”

In addition, Tamara Russell has been named a 2016 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation supports the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars annually, and providing up to $237,500 in stipends. Each Silver Scholar receives a $1,250 scholarship and a special medallion.

“Tammy exemplifies the very best qualities in an honors student,” said Christina Yamanaka, Associate Professor of history.  “Her academic excellence, leadership, and mentoring of other honors students are a true inspiration to our program.  She has worked tirelessly to help lead honors orientations and workshops, organize events of campus, and present her research at academic conferences.  She is fully deserving of this recognition and I am very proud of what she has accomplished.”