Collin College Logo
Salute To CCCCD Students

Salute To CCCCD Students

March 28, 2003 - Kudos to CCCCD students in music, nursing, photography, psychology, PTK Honor Society and theatre who have earned accolades and recognition for their achievements.

Student Bryan Burns was a competitor in the final round of the second annual Texas Guitar Competition at the University of Texas at Dallas. Of the other top finalists, Burns was the only contestant from a Texas community college. In the final round, six contestants presented programs of 20 minutes each with contrasting selections from two of the following style periods: baroque, classic, romantic and contemporary. Performers were judged on their program, technique, interpretation and style.

Kathryn Evans, dean of the arts and humanities division at UTD and one of this year's judges, says that in the two short years that the university has been holding this competition, it has quickly become a national event. "We have competitors from all over the country, Chicago, Florida, you name it. And they are all really, really good. Picking winners is always difficult."

Three nursing students recently received scholarships from the Collin and Fannin County Medical Society: Rajesh Vemulapalli, Monique Legere and Lynn Shehan. These scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence as well as financial need.

Freshman Rajesh Vemulapalli is currently working toward becoming a nurse anesthetist. He has worked in the Health Science Computer Lab and was an Emerging Scholar for the Biology Department in Spring 2002. Originally from India, Rajesh completed a bachelor's degree in medicine in his home country before moving to the U.S.

Sophomore Monique Legere is slated to graduate in May and plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing, working in the medical-surgical area. She recently was selected to receive a "Great One Hundred Nurses" scholarship for the D/FW Metroplex. She has also been a very active volunteer with the American Heart Association, Boy Scouts, Family Readiness and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Immunization Care Van.

Lynn Shehan is planning to specialize in critical care nursing. She is very active in the student nurses' association and has served as a class officer. Lynn was an Emerging Scholar for the Biology Department in 2001. She currently works at the North Central Medical Center.

Pete Knudsen won second place in the black-and-white category of the 23rd annual college photography contest sponsored by Photographer's Forum magazine, a national publication. Knudsen's award winning photo is from his book, "Silent Glory," a collection of images taken on assignment with the McKinney Fire Department. This series of photographs, portraying local firefighter and EMS units in training and in action during and after the 9-11 tragedy, began as an in-class project and grew to something more. The winning image will be published in the summer 2003 issue of Photographer's Forum and in its annual compilation issue dedicated to the year's best college photographs.

Two students in the Psi Beta National Honor Society won awards at the 23rd Annual Great Plains Students' Psychology Convention 2003. The students presented oral papers at the convention. Marissa Bridgman and Matthew Marts placed first and second in their respective sessions. The convention draws 300 - 500 participants annually from more than 40 different institutions in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. Of more than one dozen institutions participating, CCCCD was the only community college represented.

Marissa Bridgman presented a paper titled "Exploring The Effectiveness Of Psycho-Education For Individuals With Brain Tumors." She will also be submitting her paper for publication to the Journal of Psychological Inquiry, an annual publication dedicated to undergraduate research. Matthew Marts presented a paper titled "Exploring Psychology Through Service Learning."

Their instructor, Jennifer Brooks will present a symposium on "Community Colleges in Psychology" at the Southwestern Psychological Association convention next spring. She believes that such experiences are valuable to everyone involved.

"The students and I benefited greatly from this experience," said Brooks. "The students were able to present research, meet other students from a variety of universities, mingle with professors and discuss undergraduate and graduate school preparation. They were also privileged to hear some very distinguished speakers.

"I strongly believe that providing these opportunities for students is important. Psychology is a competitive field and any experience that gives them an advantage is crucial."

PTK Honor Society
CCCCD's Alpha Mu Tau chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges, won numerous awards at the 2003 Texas Regional Convention.

  • Alpha Mu Tau was named a Five-Star Chapter, the highest level of achievement in the organization, and a level that Alpha Mu Tau has maintained for several years. The Five-Star Chapter Award is based on the overall quality of the program and on the combined quality of several essays and a chronology. Students write essays about what they do in each PTK area--the four hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship--every year, and a single chronology listing all events they have accomplished during that same time period.
  • The chapter's overall performance in all four hallmarks was awarded a Top Texas Chapter plaque, one of 15 recognized among the state's 83 chapters.
  • The chapter also received the Pinnacle Scholarship Award. This award recognizes the chapter for a 10-or-more percent increase in membership over the past year.
  • Daphne Hall won the Horizon Award for best regional advisor.
  • Jennifer Flusche won the award for outstanding chapter member.

CCCCD's Alpha Mu Tau chapter was represented by students Lana Waltrip, Jennifer Flusche, Sandi Salyer, Trevor Hall, Robby Kirschner, Loni Lambeth, Jon Albiola, Marc Felber; and by faculty advisors Daphne Hall, professor of environmental science, and Paul Lancaster, professor of computer networking.

Chris Cantrell advanced to the national finals of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). Cantrell will compete for the coveted Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, given to only two student performers each year. Cantrell joins only 15 other regional winners from across the nation who have advanced to this level of the competition. He will next perform during the 35th annual KCACTF National Festival at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Cantrell's advancement to the national competition is a first for any student actor in the CCCCD theatre department. He and his acting partner, Shawn Dollinger, will perform scenes from "The Lisbon Traviata" and "God's Country". A play that Cantrell wrote, "The Worth of Me," has also been nominated for the Jean Kennedy Smith Award for student playwrighting, another category in this year's Festival.

"I'm obviously extremely excited to be selected for the national level," said Cantrell. "It's a real honor... a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

The KCACTF is a national college theater network joining 18,000 students from more than 600 academic institutions into one competitive and cooperative body. Its purpose is to improve the quality of college theater programs nationwide and to offer students a forum to showcase and assess their talents. It offers a number of different awards and scholarships annually.