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WKCTC Students To Receive Honors April 30 Includes All-USA Academic Nominees

Heather Vandiver and Cassandra Grace will be among ninety-three students to be recognized at West Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges 2015 Honors Ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 30 in the Clemens Fine Arts Center.

Vandiver of McCracken County and Grace of Graves County were nominated for the 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team. All-USA Team members are selected by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. The award is presented to exceptional students at the nations community colleges with consideration of grades, academic rigor, growth and how well the students use their education to benefit their schools and communities.

"I am honored to be awarded the opportunity to be an ALL-USA Academic Team member, said 25-year-old Vandiver, a graduate of Hopkins County Central High School in Madisonville. Raised in poverty and in a family where education was not encouraged, Vandiver said she has literally worked her way up from the bottom. From all that I have achieved (she was also selected as the 2014 WKCTC September Student of the Month), it is rewarding for me just to have made it this far. I thought I would never be in college. I thought I would never have the chance, said Vandiver.

From the timid, unsure student she was when she began taking classes at WKCTC in fall 2012, Vandiver said with the help and support of family, friends and WKCTC faculty and staff, she has become the strong, independent, confident, driven woman she is today. Being selected for the All-USA Academic Team is another confidence-building step toward reaching for her goals, especially striving to make a better life for herself and her son, Daegon.

I want him (Daegon) to strive for education as I strive for it now, Vandiver said. I have seen what it can do to a person. It gives them hope, and willingness to give their all to be successful. That's what this nomination means to me.

Vandiver earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in business administration in December 2014. She is continuing her studies at WKCTC to earn an Associate in Arts degree with plans to transfer to Murray State University in fall 2015 to earn her bachelors degree in business administration. She hopes to be CEO of a company that is intricately involved in working with the homeless and the environment.

Just a few months after graduating from Reidland High School in 2008, Cassandra Grace fulfilled a life-long dream of serving in the military by joining the Kentucky National Guard. When she returned from basic training, she met her husband, Corey. In May 2010, they welcomed their son, Waylin, who was born prematurely and had numerous health issues. Grace earned an Associate of Science degree from Mid-Continent University in fall 2013. During which time, Waylin was diagnosed with a childhood cancer that eventually claimed his life just before his third birthday.

When I finally realized what career I truly wanted, I decided to come to WKCTC and absorb more learning experience, said 25-year-old Grace. My main goal is to learn as much as I can from every course so that I can ultimately be the best advocate for others that I can be.

Graduating from WKCTC in December 2014 with an Associate in Applied Science degree in medical information technologies, Grace was recently hired as a medical coding specialist with Lourdes Mercy Health. Her future plans include possibly returning to college to earn a bachelors degree.

Other students to receive recognition during the April 30 Honors Ceremony are listed below by county of residence:

Ballard County
Chad Booher - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Sherry Hamm - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Meredith Kelley - Outstanding Phlebotomy Student Award
Jordan Merryman - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Rhonda Miller - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Linda Releford - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Devon Robertson - Diagnostic Medical Sonography Academic Award
Charles Stinson - Computer Information Technology Outstanding Student Award
Joseph Taylor - Outstanding Achievement in Business Transfer and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Sara White - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges

Calloway County
Michelle Chadwick - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Alicia Eaves - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Michelle Wiggins Associate Degree Nursing Academic Achievement and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges

Carlisle County
Kayla Moore - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Emily Owens - Diagnostic Medical Sonography Outstanding Graduate Award

Crittenden County
Elizabeth Brown - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Danielle Duncan - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Jacob Highfil - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges

Daviess County
Kara Aud - Academic Excellence in Dental Assisting

Graves County
Brittany Burns - Excellence in Criminal Justice
Jacob Chambers - Excellence in Education: Secondary
Shelby Glisson Practical Nursing Academic Achievement
Jonathan Goatley - Mathematics Honors Award
Cassandra Grace - All-USA Academic Team
Matthew Henson - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Douglas Irby - Excellence in Diesel Technology
Tara Isbell - KCTCS All-Academic Team, Florence Nightingale Award and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Ashley Keen - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Jennifer Kemp - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Jesse McCord - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Morgan McManus - Outstanding Radiography Student Award
Caitlin McManus - Outstanding Surgical Technology Clinical Achievement Award
Ralisha Oliver - Excellence in Applied Engineering Technology
Gregory Wiggins - Outstanding Surgical Technology Academic Achievement Award

Hickman County
Teressa Campbell - Medical Information Technology Academic Excellence and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges

Livingston County
Geneva Gingerich - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Gary Ivy - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Breanna Lowrance - Excellence in Social Science
Erin Roberts - Dental Hygiene Hu-Friedy Golden Scaler Award
Courtney Walker - Excellence in Communications and Coca-Cola Leader of Promise

Marshall County
Gabriel Dowd - Excellence in Diesel Technology
Casey Hackney - Culinary Arts Outstanding Student
Emily Hood - Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
Alice Knight - Advanced Nursing Assistant Honor Award
Alexa Morgan - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Cheryl Mott - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Jacob Reilley - Excellence in Automotive Technology
Shea Wilson - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Elizabeth Wilson - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges

McCracken County
Christopher Barrow - Excellence in Physics
Jessica Carrell Practical Nursing Florence Nightingale Award
Kelsey Couch - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Monica Esterlein - Outstanding Clinical Cosmetology Student
Melissa Fierro - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Kristina Findlay - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Amanda Forsythe - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Candace Gallo - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Casey Hackney - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Nevada Hall - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Leaslie Harris - Excellence in Student Support Services
Zachary Hite - Computer Information Technology Outstanding Student Award
Jestean Howard - Excellence in Education: Interdisciplinary Early Childhood
Rebecca Hummel - Academic Excellence in Dental Assisting
Justin Jackson - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Whitney Kelly - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Hai Kim - Chemistry Achievement Award
Dorina Misiti - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Natoshia Mounday - Outstanding Phlebotomy Student Award
Shelley Pangman - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Clarissa Pease - KCTCS All-Academic Team and Excellence in Education: Elementary
Jae Rayburn-Trimble - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Catalina Reyes - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Annissa Shelley - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Allye Smithson - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Wesley Sullivant - Excellence in Automotive Technology
Erin Ulrich - Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Academic Achievement Award and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Heather Vandiver - All-USA Academic Team, Outstanding Achievement in Business Administration and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Rometta Washington - Science Research Award
Benjamin Watson - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Andrew Weitlauf - Excellence in Biology
Jill Westerfield - PSAD Excellence in Visual Arts

Nelson County
Jess Livers - Academic Excellence in Dental Hygiene

ILLINOIS
Massac County

Kathy Caldwell - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Sara Gutierrez - Excellence in Foreign Language: Spanish
Keith Hayes - Outstanding Overall Cosmetology Student
Mason Heine - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Grace Yocum - PSAD Excellence in Visual Arts

MISSOURI
Lincoln County

Steve Roeder - Excellence in Marine Technology

TENNESSEE
Davidson County

Thomas Gensterblum - Excellence in Marine Technology

Obion County
Jennifer Davis-Cooley - Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Achievement Award and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
April Jaggers - Outstanding Academic Achievement in Pharmacy Technology

Weakley County
Jessica Alderdice - Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges

VIRGINIA
Suffolk City County

Scott Enrich - Excellence in Marine Technology

Registration for summer and fall classes at WKCTC is currently underway. Call 1-(855) GO-WKCTC or visit westkentucky.kctcs.edu for class offerings. Fall classes begin August 17.