Bender, Cureton, Hatch named to All-Arizona Academic Team

December 22, 2009 by Anonymous

Brittany Bender, Erin Cureton and Brandy Hatch will receive two-year tuition waivers to the state’s three public universities as Northland Pioneer College representatives on the 2010 All-Arizona Academic Team.

The trio submitted applications for the All-USA Academic Team program, co-sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation and USA Today. This will be the 15th year Arizona has recognized the state’s top two-year college students.

Brittany BenderBrittany Bender grew up in Concho and is actively working to draw her hometown together through pancake breakfasts at the fire station, AWANA youth programs, and volunteering at the local elementary school and the regional Living Hope Woman’s Centers. “Brittany Bender is not your typical teen. I can honestly say I have never met a young adult with so much positive energy. Brittany is a natural leader and volunteer,” noted Dawn Cheenoweth, a three-year resident of Concho.

Bender is “very dedicated to ensuring that she graduates from (St. Johns) high school, as well as graduating with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Science from NPC,” commented Donald Fisher, NPC’s Fire Science Program Coordinator. Bender is part of the joint Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT)/NPC Fire Academy and helped organize fund-raising efforts to purchase uniform caps for fellow classmates and travel funds to compete in Skills USA competitions in Phoenix. “Brittany led the way in this effort that will benefit people other than herself,” Fisher continued.

A member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Bender plans to continue her education at Arizona State University.

Erin CuretonSharing lessons of kindness, responsibility and honesty with young children comes naturally to Erin Cureton. Whether in her Sunday School class of four-year-olds, or helping a neighbor with her two young daughters, Erin shows patience and “a maturity that goes beyond her years,” commented fellow Winslow resident Corie Green. “She happily gives of her time and talents to serve the children whom she teaches.”

Home-schooled most of her life, Erin’s mother, Kimberly, decided it would be easier for her to complete her high school education at NPC. “It wasn’t long before I finished up with the lower level math and English and then I found myself taking college-level classes. I have wanted to earn a college degree ever since,” commented Cureton. She was elected a campus senator in the Student Government Association and her artwork was featured in an invitation-only exhibit of NPC student work.

Erin is very active in her church, working with teens and children, and piano accompaniment. Employed as a skating carhop at the Winslow Sonic, she has been a trainer and mentor for other young workers and helped organize a float for the annual Christmas parade.

Erin completed her Associate of Arts degree requirements at the end of the fall semester and has been accepted into the bachelor’s of fine arts program at the University of Arizona this spring. Majoring in studio arts, her career goals are to become a successful artist and teacher.

Brandy HatchBrandy Hatch is the first member of her family, so far, to pursue a higher education degree. Growing up on a dairy farm, she learned the meaning of dedication, honesty, hard work and service to others. As a Future Farmers of America (FFA) member in high school, Brandy had the chance to participate in many workshops on the importance of leadership. She brought those skills with her to NPC, first as a dual-enrollment student, then as a Student Government Association Senator and Secretary/Treasurer.

Her organizational skills have made her a sought-after work-study. She assisted the NPC Foundation with planning and organizing a successful annual meeting, auction and golf tournament that raised a record amount for student scholarships. She also helped organize the first SGA Dance and Talent Show, two highly-successfully events that will be repeated again this spring.

An advocate for the community college experience, Brandy visited local high schools with Admissions Adviser Suzette Willis, distributing information and talking about the importance of doing your best in whatever you do. She has been utilizing her computer skills to complete student registration data files for NPC’s Dual Enrollment and NAVIT offices.

“It does not matter what role Ms. Hatch is functioning in, she stays busy and out performs all other helpers completing the same task,” commented Susan Olsen, Silver Creek Campus Manager. “Her academic record and performance proves that she challenges herself, manages her time well, and utilizes the academic support networks that are available to her.”

A President’s Scholar and member of Phi Theta Kappa, Brandy will complete her Associate of Business degree in May, and plans to continue her bachelor’s degree studies at Northern Arizona University.

All-Arizona Team logoThe 2010 All-Arizona Academic Team includes approximately 60 outstanding Arizona community college students. A luncheon in their honor will be Thursday, Feb. 18, at Mesa Community College. The audience of over 300 will include family members or guests, university enrollment officers, community college presidents, chancellors, academic officers, governing board members and representatives of the Board of Regents. In addition to the tuition waivers from the Board of Regents, students also receive scholarship checks from their colleges. All-Arizona team members are automatically considered for the All-USA Academic Team, and additional scholarship and award opportunities.

NPC can nominate up to 8 students for the All-Arizona team. Applications are made available in the fall for students graduating or completing degrees the following spring semester.