The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC) honored the 24th Annual All-Pennsylvania (All-PA) Academic Transfer Team at an awards banquet held on Monday, April 9th in Harrisburg. The awards recognize an exceptional group of community college students who have achieved excellence and demonstrated a commitment to their colleges and communities.
The 2018 awardees include 46 outstanding community college transfer scholars from across the Commonwealth. Students must have completed at least 36 credits at a community college and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to be considered for these awards.
“The Commission applauds these outstanding student scholars on their terrific academic achievements,” said Elizabeth Bolden, President and CEO of PACCC. “By enrolling in a high-quality program at a community college, these students are building a foundation for a successful career and furthering their postsecondary study.”
Pennsylvania’s community colleges partner with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities to provide scholarships to All-PA Transfer Team members at PASSHE institutions, providing two years of tuition at any PASSHE school.
Of the awardees, four of those honored were from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. Those honored include the following outstanding students.
Shaina Aurandt, of Cresson, will graduate this May with a degree in Psychology and has a career goal of working with individuals who struggle with mental health and/or mental disabilities. Shaina played volleyball for Penn Highlands, and is a member of Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and the National Society of Leadership and Success organization.
Autumn Hause, of Johnstown, will graduate this May with a degree in Psychology and plans to transfer to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As a transgender (non-binary) student, Autumn is planning a career to promote activism and advocacy in regard to mental health and rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Autumn would like to lessen the stigmatization of mental illness in America and help LGBTQ+ individuals find happiness, stability, and success. Autumn is currently the President of the Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, and also serves on the Student Senate, Sigma Alpha Pi, Gender-Sexuality Alliance, Psychology Club, College Senate, Diversity Committee, Ethics Committee, and FilmFest Committee.
Colton Helbig, of Patton, will graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Computer Science and has a career goal of becoming an Information Security Analyst. Cyber attacks are an unfortunate reality, and Colton would like to prevent them from happening. In high school, Colton participated in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) and now judges those competitions to help students continue to improve in their research and encourage them to keep loving science and research. Colton is a member of both Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Outside of college, Colton helps students at Cambria Heights High School with the PJAS science fair.
Annette Thompson, of Altoona, will graduate this May with a degree in Business Management and plans to transfer to Slippery Rock University. Annette is a 35-year-old wife and mother that wears many hats. Besides being a mother and student, Annette owns and operates Rugrats Resale, a series of seasonal consignment sale events in State College and Altoona. She is also a licensed Pennsylvania realtor. In the future, Annette would like to run her own business while teaching business part-time at a high school or college.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College congratulates these students on their academic achievements and looks forward to what each of their futures will hold.