Two Montcalm Community College students were recognized on March 14 at the All-Michigan Academic Awards Program and Luncheon in East Lansing.
Both students are members of MCC’s Alpha Tau Alpha (ATA) chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society. Emma Skogseth, of Greenville, and Finn Gobnaith, of Rockford, were selected to represent MCC as its 2018 All-Michigan Scholars. Each Michigan community college is invited to nominate two students for the annual recognition, which is sponsored by the Michigan Community College Association and PTK.
Students are selected for the team based on their academic achievements, community service involvement and demonstrated qualities of leadership.
Skogseth has been concurrently enrolled at Greenville Public Schools and MCC since seventh grade. She will graduate from Greenville High School (GHS) in May and plans to have earned 60 total credits at MCC by July. In the fall, she plans to attend Central Michigan University (CMU) to study pre-law and political science. She plans to reverse transfer two science courses at CMU back to MCC to achieve an Associate of Science and Arts in May 2019. Her long-term goal is to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to pursue a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. Her lifelong dream is to become the United States Ambassador for the United Nations.
Skogseth was inducted into ATA in fall 2017. She won the Dreamin’s Free essay contest in 2016, which encourages students to share their dreams and how MCC is helping them pursue those dreams, and she received an honorable mention in this year’s contest.
“When I look at Emma and all she has already accomplished, I have to remind myself that she is only 17 years old,” said Jennifer VanderSlik, ATA co-advisor. “Not only is she succeeding in her classes at GHS, but she is shining in her classes here at MCC as well.
“In addition to her academic achievements, Emma is very active in her community,” she added. “Most notably, she has committed to raising money for Special Olympics by participating in their Polar Plunge fundraiser for the past eight years, raising more than $8,000 in total.”
Gobnaith, 29, is pursuing an Associate of Science and Arts degree as well as an Applied Associate of Digital Arts degree at MCC. He has successfully juggled college classes while caring for a disabled family member and serving as a tutor.
He was inducted into ATA in fall 2017 and serves as the vice president of MCC’s Digital Arts League and historian of MCC’s Business Professionals of America Club. He plans to pursue a degree in neuroscience, animal sciences or psychology at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University or another Michigan college.
“Finn admits that he had a bit of a rough start in college. This is one of the reasons he is a great choice to represent MCC on the All-Michigan Academic Team,” VanderSlik said. “Despite his rough start, he was able to not only recover academically, but also meets the high standards held by PTK while still upholding his personal obligations and being active in multiple clubs on campus.
“Finn is the kind of person who loves to help whenever he can and can be counted on to follow through with his commitments,” she added.
VanderSlik is excited for Gobnaith’s and Skogseth’s future success.
“Seeing evidence of the things Finn and Emma have done inside the classroom, on campus and beyond, I have no doubt that they will continue to strive for excellence and be successful in any endeavor they pursue,” she said.
The students were also entered in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition, sponsored by USA Today, the American Association of Community Colleges and PTK, and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation competition, which honors the top scorer from each state through its New Century Scholars program. The top 20 students in the competition will be selected as members of the national team, and they will receive a $2,500 scholarship and be featured in USA Today.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,250 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 states and throughout the world. Phi Theta Kappa’s all-state recognition programs are conducted in 32 states. All-state team members have the opportunity to be named to the All-USA Team and may receive stipends from USA Today and Coca-Cola.