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Collin College Students Names To All-Texas Academic Team


Collin College Students Names To All-Texas Academic Team

April 30, 2007 - Three Collin College students have been named to the first team of the 2006-2007 All-Texas Academic Team by Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for college students. Nominees are selected based on academic achievement, school involvement and community involvement. To be eligible for the team, students must have at least a 3.25 grade point average. Rankings on the team are determined by a national competition.

Photo by Nick Young

Nasim Najafi of Plano is a pre-law student majoring in business and psychology. She is a graduate of Plano West High School.

Najafi currently serves as the president of Psi Beta, a psychology honor society. She was involved with bringing the first national conference of that organization to Collin College, and she is a part of Psi Beta's psychology research projects. She is also an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, the Middle Eastern Student Association, the International Student Association and the Cougar Soccer Club. Najafi also serves as a student ambassador.

"It was a really good feeling when I found out about the award. Knowing that I was chosen out of a pool of so many students is an honor," Najafi said.

Najafi was awarded a scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa in 2006. She is also the recipient of the Collin College Department of Psychology scholarship. Najafi plans to transfer to Southern Methodist University this fall. She hopes to attend law school after she completes her undergraduate studies.

Photo by Nick Young

Danya Salinas of Plano, originally from Chile, is planning to become a broadcast journalist. She graduated from Plano West High School.

"I was really surprised and honored to be nominated, knowing the reputation of the program. Being put in the category with some of the other nominees is such an honor," she said.

Salinas is an officer with Phi Theta Kappa, the secretary for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and a student representative for the Student Activity Fee Advisory Committee. She is also a student ambassador and an orientation leader. In the community, Salinas is an active part of Young Life.

Salinas is an accomplished singer, performing with both the jazz ensemble and chamber choir at Collin College. She also sings with Voces y Danzas de Chile, a singing group that specializes in Chilean folk music and performs in area schools and libraries.

She plans to graduate from Collin College in May 2008. Following her studies at Collin College, she hopes to complete a bachelor's degree.

Photo by Nick Young

Carlos Valera of Frisco is studying international relations. He is originally from Lima, Peru. Valera is an active part of the community. He works with the Angel Sports League of McKinney, where he volunteers as a basketball and soccer coach for students with special needs. He has also mentored English as a Second Language students with the Go Center.

Valera is currently the vice president of scholarship with Phi Theta Kappa. He is also a member of the International Student Association and the Honors Program. He is a student representative on the Discipline Appeals Task Force, and he is a Spectrum Ambassador for the college. Valera works as a student assistant in the Learning Resources Center.

"I am really excited to be a Collin College representative. It is like a dream come true. I think it is great that Collin College recognizes students not only for their studies, but also for their extracurricular activities. It is a big motivation for me," Valera said.

Valera plans to complete his bachelor's degree in international relations at the University of Texas at Arlington, Southern Methodist University or Texas Christian University. He also hopes to pursue an MBA.

Collin County Community College District (Collin) serves more than 41,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.