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Howard Community College Student with 4.0 GPA Named Highest Scoring Community College Student in the State of Maryland

March 27, 2013

Elkridge Resident Katie Dunklee Joins Select Group of U.S. Students Upon Earning Two Prestigious National Scholarships Totaling $7,000

(Columbia, MD) - Howard Community College student Katie Dunklee has been named a prestigious 2013 Guistwhite Scholar recipient and will receive a $5,000 scholarship for baccalaureate studies during a special ceremony at Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention in San Jose, California, April 4-6. Katie was one of only 20 students selected from more than 1800 nominees for the award. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in America for higher education on two-year and community college campuses. In addition, as one of only 50 community college students selected from a field of more than 1800 nominees from the United States, Canada, and the Federated States of Micronesia, Katie has also been honored by being named a 2013 New Century Scholar. As part of the New Century Scholar award, Katie will receive a $2,000 scholarship, which will be presented at the American Association of College Presidents (AACC) Convention in San Francisco, CA. Together, the two distinct national scholarships total $7,000 for grade point average, leadership, commitment to excellence, service to the community, and the extension of intellectual talent beyond the classroom.

“You always hear that hard work and effort is its own reward in itself. This is why it feels extra special and almost surreal to receive these awards,” says Katie. “Such recognition would not have been possible without the wonderful support and encouragement of my entire Phi Theta Kappa chapter and advisors, Laura Cripps and Brittany Budden, who constantly inspire me; they gave me the means to share my talents with the campus. These scholarships are going to carry me through the next path in my life at a four-year institution and beyond. At HCC, you really can ‘get there from here.’ There's no better way to put it, and I am immensely thankful for the great environment and opportunities this college has provided me.”

Katie, a resident of Elkridge, MD, has earned a reputation on campus for being a leader and a scholar. An accounting major who attends HCC on a full-time basis, Katie holds a 4.0 grade point average (GPA), is vice president of communications for HCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, is active on campus, and works 20+ hours weekly. Most recently, Katie led her Phi Theta Kappa peers in an Honors-in-Action Project, entitled “Honorable Food: Making ‘Locally Grown’ a Competitive Brand,” which featured local farmers. She coordinated her chapter members in a number of creative activities and events associated with the project. As a result, the project has been recognized as a “Regional Hallmark Award Winner” and will be recognized at Phi Theta Kappa’s upcoming convention in San Jose.

A Marinich Scholar who has won numerous HCC awards, including the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, Katie is equally committed to helping those in her community. Each year, she volunteers at the Elkridge Food Pantry to organize donated goods and distribute them to those in need in the community.

“All of us at HCC are so proud of Katie’s many outstanding achievements,” says Dr. Kate Hetherington, president of Howard Community College. “It takes a very special student to be as committed to academic excellence as she is to servant leadership. Katie acts as a role model for all of us --- students, faculty and staff alike.”

About the Guistwhite Scholar Program

The Guistwhite Scholar Program annually honors community college students who excel in scholarship and leadership in Phi Theta Kappa. The 20 scholar recipients for 2013 were selected by a panel of independent judges from more than 1,800 applicants.

About the New Century Scholars Program

The New Century Scholars Program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa, and the American Association of Community Colleges, located in Washington, DC.  More than 1,800 students were nominated for recognition from more than 800 community colleges. New Century Scholars are the highest scoring students in each state, plus one from Canada and one additional student chosen from among one of the remaining seven sovereign nations where Phi Theta Kappa is represented internationally.

About HCC

Howard Community College (HCC) is a publicly funded two-year community college serving the educational needs of the citizens and employers in Howard County, Maryland since 1970. With its slogan, “You Can Get There from Here,” the college has forged a variety of partnerships to offer career and transfer programs to over 30,000 students annually at its main campus in Columbia, the Ecker Business Training Center, Laurel College Center, and Mount Airy College Center for Health Care Education. Located midway between two major metropolitan areas, Washington DC and Baltimore, MD, Howard Community College is an affordable, community-based institution that has long been recognized for its ability to inspire learning, and the lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals. Among its many awards is the prestigious U.S. Senate Productivity Award for organizational performance excellence.