large group photo of the 2018 PTK group with medals and certificates

The 40 members of the 2018 Phi Theta Kappa All-Colorado Academic Team were honored today at an induction ceremony held at the History Colorado Center in downtown Denver. The annual event, in its 20th year, was presented by the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges and the Credit Union of Colorado.

The ceremony recognizes high-achieving students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor, combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. The students received medallions and personalized proclamations signed by Governor John Hickenlooper.

“The Phi Theta Kappa society is the international honor society for two-year colleges and academic program participants,” explained Dr. Russell J. Meyer, chair of the SBCCOE. “It is the largest honor society in American higher education, and it was established in 1918 to recognize and encourage scholarship among associate-degree seeking students.”

The 40 members of this year’s All-Colorado Academic Team were chosen through a competitive process open to hundreds of Colorado Phi Theta Kappa members. A place on the All-Colorado team makes them eligible to compete for a spot on the Phi Theta Kappa All-USA Academic Team, and over $500,000 in scholarships.

“These 40 students represent our best and brightest,” said Colorado Community College System President Dr. Nancy J. McCallin. “Their achievements are a testament to the value of grit, determination, and perseverance, and I know they will continue to excel throughout their professional lives.”

Two students among the 40 honorees have been selected from as Colorado’s New Century Scholars. The New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar receives special recognition at the Association of Community College Trustees Congress. The New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar receives special recognition at the American Association of Community Colleges Convention. In addition, three students have been selected for a spot on the Coca-Cola Academic Team. All 40 students are eligible for scholarships from Johnson & Wales University, University of Denver, and Regis University.

The keynote address was given by former Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers, who drew parallels between lessons he learned during his football career and real life. “When you’re a running back, the only thing you know for sure is that you’re going to get tackled. Sometimes you’re going to get taken down hard, and it’s gonna hurt. But you just have to get back up and keep trying to advance the ball. The same is true in life, and if you just stay focused on advancing the ball, you’re going to be successful.”

Event attendees included members of the Colorado General Assembly, the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE), the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges, top community college philanthropists, community college presidents, and senior staff of the Colorado Community College System, alongside the honorees and their guests.