All-USA/Alabama Academic Team Competition Winners Announced
April 30, 2015
Southern Torch (3854 articles)

All-USA/Alabama Academic Team Competition Winners Announced

Each year the faculty members at all two-year colleges are asked to nominate two students that exhibit talent and ability in the areas of academics, leadership, and community service. This year nine students who had the required 3.5 GPA were nominated, with six of the nominees choosing to continue the rigorous process of competing with other two-year students across the nation. This competition is sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, USA Today Newspaper, and the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation. The six students who were nominated from Northeast Alabama Community College were Kayla Armstrong, Elizabeth Byrd, Paige Gentle, William Hammonds, Teva Seale, and Chelsae Wagner. All of these students were honored at Awards Day on April 27, 2015, and in the Backroads Yearbook.

The extensive application process includes an essay and several letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s academic ability, leadership ability, and an endeavor that illustrates a contribution of service to school or community. The selection committee composed of one faculty member from each technical and academic division then picks two of the nominees to serve as the representatives from Northeast.

For 2015, Northeast’s two winners of the All-USA/All Alabama Academic Team are Elizabeth Byrd and William Hammonds. Winners from all Alabama community colleges were honored at a luncheon held at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham on April 10. At the luncheon, Chancellor Mark Heinrich of the Alabama Community College System, members of the Alabama Board of Education and several legislators were on hand to honor these school winners. In addition, each of the winners will receive a $1,000.00 scholarship and other valuable gifts.

William Hammonds lives in Geraldine, Alabama, and plans to transfer to Samford University in Birmingham to pursue a degree in pharmacy. His goal is to be a clinical pharmacist in a large hospital. Each year the All USA/All Alabama Academic Team members compete nationally for additional scholarship money awarded by the Coca Cola Scholarship Foundation. William was also awarded a $1,000 Bronze Scholarship from the Foundation.

“We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for their vote of confidence in community college students by investing in their futures,” said Dr. Rod Risley, Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa. “Their support is especially welcome during this challenging economic climate, as more and more community college students need additional resources to help them complete their degrees.”


“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 deserving students to achieve their educational goals.”

Elizabeth Byrd lives in Woodville, Alabama, and plans to transfer to the University of Alabama in Huntsville to pursue a degree in engineering. Elizabeth will begin an internship with the Redstone Arsenal during the summer and her goal is to work full-time with the arsenal in the future.

Dean Sherie Grace commented, “We would like to congratulate Elizabeth and Will for this outstanding accomplishment. The application process is rigorous and these young people are very deserving of this award. It is a great honor to be selected as the Northeast All-USA/All Alabama Academic Team winners. I would like to congratulate both of these deserving individuals on these achievements.”

NACC College President, Dr. David Campbell added, “The All-USA Academic Team program is valuable for its recognition of our excellent two-year college students. We are very proud of Elizabeth and Will for the representation they have provided for Northeast. I am especially pleased to have a Bronze Scholarship winner this year. I extend my congratulations to all of these individuals for being such diligent scholars and effective leaders. I would also like to congratulate the families of these individuals.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, Peru, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.

For more information about the All-USA Academic Team, contact Dean Grace at college phone ext. 2325 or by email at For additional college information, go to or download the college’s free App at the Apple App Store or by going to


Courtesy of Northeast Alabama Community College

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