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2 WNCC Students Earn National Awards From Phi Theta Kappa


April 28, 2021 | View PDF

SCOTTSBLUFF — Two Western Nebraska Community College students were recently honored at Phi Theta Kappa’s (PTK) national “Catalyst” convention. Sophomores Olivia Schaub, of Gering, and Adam Ouderkirk of Bayard, were named as Nebraska’s 2021 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar, and New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar, respectively.

The scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities, and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Only one scholar is selected from each state for each award.

Schaub is enrolled in WNCC’s pre-physical therapy program and will graduate in May. She also played on the Cougar volleyball team for two years. She plans to transfer to Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa next semester and pursue a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and continue her volleyball career.

“It means the world to me that I was chosen as one of the 2021 New Century Pathway Scholars,” Schaub said. “If it weren’t for scholarships and grants, I wouldn’t be able to afford to go to college so I am very grateful for everything I have received.”

Ouderkirk will graduate from WNCC’s Information Technology program next month. He hopes to find a job in the Panhandle in the IT field after graduation.

“I want to stay local to the community because I enjoy this area,” Ouderkirk said. “WNCC and PTK have helped me obtain my goals and given me opportunities to network with people and be able to get my name out in the community.”

PTK is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders.There are nearly 1,300 chapters spread across 11 countries.

“I have grown as a leader because of PTK and I am excited to take the things I have learned and use them at my next school,” Schaub said. “Overall, WNCC has been an amazing place to start my college career, figure out what I want to study, save money, and create long-lasting friendships with people.”

The New Century Scholar program is sponsored by the The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa, and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).


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