NTCC Leads Nation in Guistwhite Awards

emma shaw outside

Submitted by Honors Northeast:

Lone Star College in the greater Houston has over 90,000 students, and may be the eighth-largest institution of higher learning in the United States.  It has won three of the 105 prestigious Guistwhite Scholarships of Phi Theta Kappa that have been bestowed since the award’s website began recording this information in 2011.  Mesa Community College, a bellwether two-year institution in Arizona, has less students, but has gained four winners.

These two colleges rank second and third in the acquisition of these coveted, $5,000-a-student awards.  And number one?

That honor belongs to Northeast Texas Community College.  Its students have won six Guistwhite Awards since 2011 (Left to Right above: Isaac Griffin in 2012, Noah Griffin in 2014, Matthew Jordan in 2014, Kayleah Cumpian in 2015, Angelica Fuentes in 2016, and now Emmalea Shaw in 2017).

There are three main criteria for Guistwhite Awards. Outstanding academic achievement constitutes the first criterion.  Leadership and engagement in Phi Theta Kappa follow.  Guistwhite Awards have been bestowed in a formal way since 1992, though Dr. Jack Guistwhite, a Florida educator, presented his first transfer scholarship award in 1975.  Students from the 1,500 community colleges in the United States are eligible for the award.

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All six Guistwhite winners of NTCC were high-GPA Presidential Scholars who attained leadership roles in the feature-length-film productions of Honors Northeast.  All were active members of Phi Theta Kappa, and two were regional leaders.  Four were Caldwell winners on the state level in Texas history; two were Boe Award winners on the regional level in honors.  Five presented scholarly work at the annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council, and all presented work at meetings of the Great Plains Honors Council.

“The recent Guistwhite triumph of our first Texas Heritage National Bank Scholar, Emmalea Shaw, confirms a pattern that was first detected in the June 2014 issue of Alacrity, the NTCC honors newsletter.  We have had both an assiduous team and an effective system working to develop student achievement here,” notes Dr. Andrew Yox, Director of Honors Northeast.  “And by ‘team’ we mean a lot of people—dauntless students like Emma, the patrons of Honors Northeast, honors professors, the rise of NTCC’s Phi Theta Kappa under the leadership of Dr. Melissa Fulgham, our Honors Committee, our administrators and trustees, and some very encouraging parents as well as other mentoring professors here at the college.”