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March 05, 2007
A celebration recognizing Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) students Dave Blanchard, Cambridge Campus; Amanda Even, Coon Rapids Campus; and Diana Gay, Cambridge Campus and 30 other students from two-year institutions across Minnesota named to the All-Minnesota State Academic Team was held Thursday, February 22 at the Best Buy Corporate Headquarters in Richfield.
Three Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) students named to the All-Minnesota Academic Team
Three Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) students named to the All-Minnesota Academic Team attended the recognition luncheon with ARCC President Dr. Patrick M. Johns and ARCC English faculty member and Phi Theta Kappa advisor Kathleen Hoffman. (Shown left to right) ARCC All-Minnesota Academic Team member Davidson Blanchard, Kathleen Hoffman, ARCC All-Minnesota Academic Team member Diana Gay, ARCC All-Minnesota Academic Team member Amanda Even and Dr. Patrick M. Johns.

More than 200 people including students, college faculty and staff from high education institutions from around the State and higher education dignitaries attended the recognition event.

"Recognitions such as these increase awareness of the high-caliber education available at two-year institutions," says ARCC President Dr. Patrick M. Johns. "These students are leaders now and will go on to be leaders at even higher levels, and it all began at a two-year institution."

As a further honor, Governor Tim Pawlenty officially proclaimed February 22, 2007 All-Minnesota Academic Team Day.

About ARCC All-Minnesota Students
All-Minnesota Academic Team member, Davidson Blanchard will graduate from ARCC Cambridge Campus in May 2007 and plans to transfer to St. Cloud State University to major in elementary education. During his two-years on campus, he has served as the local Phi Theta Kappa President and as Regional Vice President. He also served on the Student Life Committee and the Building Dedication Committee. He has been named an Honor Scholar and been consistently on the Dean's List.

"David is an outstanding student and an incredible student leader," says ARCC English faculty member and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Kathleen Hoffman. "He is constantly busy working for Phi Theta Kappa, the campus and the community. His strong organizational and time management skills will enable him to reach whatever goals he sets."

"I would not have been able to receive this award without the support and guidance my family has given me," says Blanchard. "The leadership, guidance and educational opportunities that the Cambridge Campus offers have prepared me to focus my leadership skills."

All-Minnesota Academic Team member, Amanda Even will graduate from the Coon Rapids Campus in May 2007 and plans to attend either the University of Minnesota or Oklahoma University to major in religious studies. Ultimately, she hopes to attend Harvard University to study document translation. During her two years on campus, Even has served as Phi Theta Kappa chapter and Regional President, lead the Creative Writing Club, The Campus Democrats and Progressive group, the Programming Board, Student Government, the Student Life Committee and a number of other groups.

"Amanda is an amazing young woman who has overcome a challenging obstacle that would have defeated most people," says Evelyn Gedde, ARCC Director of Institutional Advancement "She is a ball of energy wrapped with intelligence, compassion and excellence."

"I am so sad to be graduating because I don't want to leave Anoka-Ramsey," says Even. "I can't give enough thanks to Phi Theta Kappa or the people at the college. They gave me the support I needed to believe in myself."

All-Minnesota Academic Team member, Diana Gay will graduate from the Cambridge Campus in May 2007 and plans to transfer to St. Cloud State University to continue her study of psychology. Eventually she hopes to counsel people in a one-on-one setting. During her three years on campus, Gay held a full-time accounting and bookkeeping position for a construction company and continued in her roles as a mother, a wife and a grandmother. She has taught Sunday school for the past eight years and volunteers in numerous settings including nursing homes and in a bird sanctuary.

"Diana Gay is a remarkable woman and a rare student," says ARCC faculty member Claudia Kittock. "She is never satisfied until she fully understands every relevant concept. She is a wise and unusual student in many ways."

"I just wasn't satisfied, so I decided to try just one class, and I loved it," says Gay. "The next semester, I signed up for two classes and now, here I am."

About the State and National Academic Team Program
To be nominated to the All-Minnesota Academic Team, a student must be currently enrolled at a Minnesota two-year college and expect to graduate during the 2006-2007 academic year, have completed at least 12 semester credits and have a grade point average of at least 3.25 at a Minnesota two-year college. Nominees were selected based on biographical information, letters of recommendation, academic performance, demonstration of leadership and campus and community service involvement. Applicants also wrote an essay describing a specific educational experience while attending a two-year college that has transformed the student's thinking about learning or the future.

The Minnesota All-State Academic Team is sponsored by Best Buy Co.; the Minn-Wi-Kota Region of Phi Theta Kappa; Dakota County Technical College; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Normandale Community College; and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor.

Blanchard, Even and Gay as well as the other 30 students, ranging in age from 18 to 52, automatically become the state's nominees for the All-USA Academic Team for Community, Technical and Junior College Students. The program is sponsored annually by Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges, USA Today and the American Association of Community Colleges.

The 2007 All-USA team members will be announced April 16 at the American Association of Community Colleges convention in Tampa, Fla. Students selected for the All-USA academic team receive stipends or plaques.

ABOUT PHI THETA KAPPA
Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges. Founded in 1918 by a group of two-year college presidents in Missouri, Phi Theta Kappa has recognized and encouraged scholarship among two-year college students by providing enrichment and support of the associate degree program. In 1929, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) designated Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges.