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Calhoun Announces 2012 Top Ten Students/Honors Day

4/19/2012

Calhoun Community College will recognize and honor its top students during the college's 43rd Annual Honors Day program, Friday, April 27, 2012, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Kelley Gymnasium on the Decatur campus.

Among the students to be honored are the college's "Top Ten Most Outstanding Students," the most outstanding student from each of Calhoun's divisions and departments, and students named to Who's Who among Students in American Junior Colleges. Other awards to be presented during the ceremony include the James B. Allen Pin Award, given in honor of the late U.S. Senator James B. Allen of Alabama to the student who has demonstrated order through citizenship, scholarship and service.

Academic awards will be given to those students receiving Calhoun scholarships, and scholarships from four-year colleges and universities also will be awarded by representatives from those institutions.

A picnic for students and their families will be held immediately following the program.

2012 TOP TEN STUDENTS



Kristopher Shaun Bennefield
– a Physics major from Decatur, Alabama.  He is an active member of both the Sigma Kappa Delta and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Societies. Kristopher is also active in his community through his membership in PETA and participated in collecting money and books for schools and libraries affected by the 2011 tornados.  His goal is to obtain a doctorate degree in Physics and work with NASA as a research scientist, focusing on the relation between cymatics and space.  His GPA is 4.0. 

Melissa Anne Bennefield – a Biology major from Decatur, Alabama.  She is one of Calhoun’s nominees for the 2012 All-USA Academic Team.  Melissa is an active member of both the Sigma Kappa Delta and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Societies.  In her community, she is an active member of PETA and participated in collecting donations for the Haiti Relief Fund as well as 2011 tornado victims.  Her goal is to obtain a master’s degree in Biology and work with a global conservation foundation studying ecosystems in order to offer solutions for man-made and natural disasters.  She is also very interested in the green energy initiative.  Her GPA is 3.9. 

Garrett Bosse – a Machine Tool Technology major from Madison, Alabama.  He is one of Calhoun’s nominees for the 2012 All-USA Academic Team.  Garrett was also recently honored as one of 50 two-year college students selected from across the United States as a Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar and is one of 20 students selected from over 2,200 applications submitted nation-wide to receive the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Guistwhite Scholarship, which carries with it a $5000 award to facilitate completion of his baccalaureate degree.  Garrett currently serves as President for Phi Theta Kappa and is a member of Sigma Kappa Delta Honor Society.  He is active in his community through volunteering at his church in the music ministry, as well as through participating in mission trips.  Garrett also volunteered with the 2011 tornado clean-up.  His goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and eventually become a lead mechanical engineer at an engineering firm.  His GPA is 3.8. 

Stephen Cantley – an English/Journalism major from Huntsville, Alabama.  He currently serves as Vice President of Leadership for Phi Theta Kappa and is also a member of Sigma Kappa Delta Honor Society.  He is involved in his community through service as the Youth Minister at his church, leading various tornado relief efforts, and volunteering at youth retreats.  His goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Modernist Literature from the University of Alabama and teach Literature at the college level.  His GPA is 3.8. 

Tina Rene Cooley – a Business major from Huntsville, Alabama.  She is one of Calhoun’s representatives on the 2012 All-Alabama Academic Team is one of the college’s nominees for the 2012 All-USA Academic Team.   Tina was recently honored as one of 50 two-year college students selected from across the United States as a Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar.  She is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and had the honor of being selected to represent Calhoun at a luncheon with the Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System in 2011.  Her goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Alabama and utilize her skills to become an executive in the corporate environment.  Her GPA is 3.6.

Ngoc Dung (Sydney) Duong – a Biology major from Athens, Alabama.  She is a member of Calhoun’s Emerging Scholars Program, as well as the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  She is active in her community through fundraising efforts to collect toys for children in need at Christmas and is also a sponsor for the American Heart Association.  Sydney’s goal is to complete her education and eventually become a Doctor of Dermatology.  Her GPA is 4.0. 

Chelsey George – a General Studies major from Hartselle, Alabama.  She is an active member of the Student Veteran’s Association and is a member of Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges.  Chelsey is active in her community through her role as a Military Police Officer for the National Guard.  She worked with disaster relief efforts following the 2011 tornados and is also active in her church.  Chelsey is not certain of her ultimate career goals now because she is being deployed in June 2012.  She plans to spend her year overseas deciding what career path to take.  Her GPA is 4.0. 

William E. Gilliam – a Business/Accounting major form Huntsville, Alabama.  He is an active member of both the Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa Delta Honor Societies.  William is active in his community through serving as a volunteer for The American Red Cross Madison/Marshall County Chapter and was active through this organization during the 2011 tornados.  His goal is to eventually obtain a bachelor’s degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and utilize his past experience as a shipping and receiving clerk to work in this field.  He finds education “an exciting and fulfilling experience” as he gets older.  His GPA is 4.0.

LaJoy A. Johns – a Pre-Law/Criminal Justice Major from Huntsville, Alabama.  She is one of Calhoun’s representatives on the 2012 All-Alabama Academic Team and one of the college’s nominees for the 2012 All-USA Academic Team. LaJoy was also recently honored as one of 50 two-year college students selected from across the United States as a Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar.   LaJoy currently serves as the Vice President of Service for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and she is an active member of Calhoun’s Emerging Scholars Program and the Criminal Justice Club.  She is active in her community through her service as both a Historian and “Guardian Angel” for senior citizens at a local assisted living facility.  Her goal is to complete her bachelor’s degree and work as an Executive Director for an agency that assists people in making positive change in their lives.  Her GPA is 3.9.

Hannah Lauren Ledbetter – a Secondary Teacher Education major from Danville, Alabama.  She is an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as well as both the Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa Delta Honor Societies.  Hannah is active in her community through service as a volunteer at local elementary schools and the nursery at her church.  She also gives free guitar lessons to her fellow softball team members.  Her goal is to attend the University of North Alabama and eventually become a high school English teacher.  She would also like to eventually further her education and teach on the college level.  Her GPA is 4.0.

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