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GPC wins big at Phi Theta Kappa ceremonies

Georgia Perimeter College enjoyed an impressive showing during two Phi Theta Kappa award ceremonies in March. Winners included a Conyers student attending the GPC Newton campus.

Three GPC students were named to the PTK All-Georgia Academic Team, one student was awarded a Coca-Cola scholarship and the Dunwoody Campus PTK chapter, Alpha Zeta Mu, won two group awards.

PTK is the official honor society of two-year colleges. Georgia Perimeter students Joanne Butler, Conyers resident Natalee Dukes and Benson Nsunwana were named to the PTK All-Georgia Academic Team. Dukes was also awarded a $1,250 Coca-Cola Scholarship, "We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals," said J. Mark Davis, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. "The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges."

At 16, Dukes took advantage of early college programs like Dual Enrollment and Move on When Ready to leave Heritage High School in Rockdale County and become a full-time student on GPC Newton Campus. In May, an 18-year-old Dukes will receive an associate degree from GPC in general studies and her high school diploma from Heritage.

"I wanted more freedom," said Dukes who leaves GPC with a 4.0 GPA and plans to study pre-medicine at the University of Georgia. "I knew I could finish high school and two years of college at the same time. Being named to the All-Georgia Academic Team is a really huge honor and the scholarship is a real surprise."

Another All-Georgia Academic Team member, Nsunwana, came to the United States from Nigeria in 2008 looking for the best place to continue his education. He choose GPC.

"My mom encouraged me to go to Georgia Perimeter College," he said. "She said it was a good school and a good place to start. So I went to the Newton Campus, and those were three years of my life well spent."

Nsunwana graduated in December and is now working on a bachelor's degree in business administration at Georgia State, having earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA during his time at GPC.

The induction of Butler, Dukes and Nsunwana to the All-Georgia Academic Team gives GPC three of the 29 students named to the 2011 team. The team draws students each year from 37 eligible Georgia campuses.

"This year's All-Georgia Academic Team winners from Georgia Perimeter truly highlight the academic quality GPC offers," said GPC president Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli. "One student was looking for an early start to college; one needed a later start. A third student was new to the country and found GPC as the best place to begin his higher education.

It is obvious that each of these students received a top quality education from our outstanding faculty."

Alpha Zeta Mu won a PTK group award for a research project that examined the democratization of information: How the free flow of information has changed how people in places like Germany or Africa communicate with the outside world. The Dunwoody Campus chapter also won the College Project Award for a 22-minute documentary on the diversity of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds at GPC.

"I was so happy to see them rewarded for the high quality of their work," Dr. Brooke Skelton, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and the PTK lead advisor for the Dunwoody Campus said.

"So it's not just me who knows what good things they are doing."

The Dunwoody chapter's two awards come as part of the PTK's Honors In Action program. This program has four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship, Skelton said.