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CGCC students persist during the pandemic and are named to All-Arizona Academic Team


High-achieving CGCC students are being celebrated for their outstanding academic accomplishments and distinguished leadership at the 2021 All-Arizona Academic Team Recognition Ceremony on March 4, 2021.

All-Arizona students demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. Each student is working toward an associate’s degree, maintains a GPA of 3.5 or higher (4.0 scale) and is involved in campus and community volunteerism.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs; the American Association of Community Colleges; Arizona Community Colleges; the Arizona Board of Regents; and the Follett Higher Education Group help these exceptional students reach their educational goals by awarding scholarships and issuing tuition waivers for Arizona’s three state universities: Arizona State University (ASU), University of Arizona (UA) and Northern Arizona University (NAU).

Judging consists of three rounds. First-round judges are local business, civic, education and government leaders. The second and third round judging takes place in Washington, D.C. by representatives from federal agencies and national education associations. Scores from the national competition determine each state’s team rankings. First Team members attending eligible Arizona colleges each receive a $1,000 scholarship, Second Team members a $750 scholarship and Third Team members a $500 scholarship.

Rankings for 2021 honorees will be available following this year's ceremony. 

This year’s honorees are: 

Pecos Campus

  • Kathryn Hunter
    • Hunter plans to transfer to Arizona State University (Barrett Honors College) ultimately earning a Doctor of Psychology degree. Her career goal is to become a private practice clinical psychologist and research psychiatric disorders.
  • Jennifer Strong 
    • Strong plans to transfer to Arizona State University ultimately earning a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering. Her career goals are to gain experience as a Software Engineer, to become a Project Manager, and finally become a Scrum Master and a successful Public Speaker.

Williams Campus

  • Garrett Betlaf
    • Betlaf plans to transfer to Arizona State University, aiming for a BSE in Electrical Engineering. His ultimate goal is to work in robotics, designing and testing electric and robotics systems.
  • Miranda Heard
    • Heard plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University, eventually earning her Master’s of Science. Her career goal is to work in agricultural/environmental microbe research.

The virtual All-Arizona ceremony, hosted on YouTube, is emceed by Grant Woods, a Phi Theta Kappa alumnus and past Arizona attorney general; includes a welcome from Cochise Community College President J.D. Rottweiler, Ph.D. and Governor Doug Ducey will read the proclamation and address honorees. 

Ashley Knister, a Yavapai College and Northern Arizona University alumna, and previous All-Arizona Academic Team honoree, is the keynote speaker, sharing stories from her educational journey and career in local broadcasting.

All-Arizona Academic Team members are eligible to be selected as one of 20 to be named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team, receiving an additional $5,000 scholarship, medallion, obelisk and a certificate during the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention, April 11 - 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Learn more about the All-Arizona program at


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