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LRSC students earn Phi Theta Kappa honor

By   Erin Wood

Tanya Kephart and Hannah Swartz of Lake Region State College were each awarded $1,000 after being selected Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars.

A total of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members have been awarded a total of $207,000 in scholarships.

Dr. Doug Darling, a 2016 recipient of the Shirley B. Gordon Leadership Award from PTK (Outstanding President) assisted advisor Teresa Tande by calling in students to encourage them to take the time to write out the lengthy application. 

It paid off. 

Chosen from more than 1,100 applications worldwide, the scholars receive scholarships of $1,000 each to further their associate degree studies. Independent judges evaluated the applications based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential.

“Having two of the five Minnesota/South Dakota/North Dakota scholarships going to LRSC is quite an accomplishment,” said Teresa Tande, LRSC Phi Theta Kappa advisor.

Tanya Kephart is a sophomore in the Simulator Maintenance Technician program. She has been an active member on campus since arriving from Albuquerque, NM. Not only is she active in Phi Theta Kappa, serving as president, she also is a member of the Royal Ambassadors, president of the Sim Club and works in the LRSC Bookstore. 

Hannah Swartz is from Park River, North Dakota, where she graduated in 2015. She earned All-Conference and All-Region status as a member of the Royals Volleyball team. She is seeking her Liberal Arts degree from LRSC and wants to continue her education to become a physical therapy. She is Vice President of the LRSC Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Hannah is also a Royal Ambassador and plays for the Lady Royals basketball team.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program provides new Phi Theta Kappa members with financial resources to help defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are also encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in Society programs.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides Leaders of Promise Global Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

"The funds provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation not only aid college completion, but provide students with the opportunity to engage in Society programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their communities,” said Steve Mulhollen, Interim Executive Director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers. The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn’t an obstacle to achieving their academic goals.”

"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 more deserving students to achieve their educational goals.

"Phi Theta Kappa members are proven scholars, engaged students who want to use their abilities to make a difference. In designating $200,000 for Leaders of Promise, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is supporting tomorrow's leaders of the global community."