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KCKCC Student Named to Coca-Cola Academic Team

Kelly Rogge
Public Relations Officer
Thursday, April 26, 2018
For the first time ever, one Kansas City Kansas Community College student has been named a 2018 Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar.

For the first time ever, one Kansas City Kansas Community College student has been named a 2018 Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar.

David Alex Ortiz, a sophomore at KCKCC, was notified that he was named to the Coca-Cola Academic Team in March. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars with nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each scholar also receives a commemorative medallion. As a Bronze Scholar, Ortiz will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals.”

Ortiz, who is studying mechanical engineering and is a Phi Theta Kappa officer at KCKCC, said he was elated when he learned of the honor. He said he didn't exactly understand the brevity of the situation until later when he realized what it meant to be a Coca-Cola Academic Team member - that he would not only represent KCKCC, but the Kansas Region of PTK as well.

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. There are more than 3.5 million members of the society and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

“Out of 2,000 applicants, I was chosen to be one of 150 students,” he said. “Additionally, I have the honor of walking across the stage at our annual ‘International Catalyst Convention.’ Turnout for this event is about 4,000 PTK members, advisers and alumni from Community/Junior Colleges all across the world.”

College administrators nominate students for the academic team, and selection is based on academic achievement, leadership and engagement in college and community service. After he graduates with an associate in liberal arts degree in May, Ortiz plans to transfer to Kansas State University. He plans to work toward a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

“I was thrilled to be notified that KCKCC had a student named to the Coca-Cola Academic Team,” said Dr. Stacy Tucker, director of Honors Education/Phi Theta Kappa at KCKCC. “Only 50 students in the world were named to the bronze team and recognized in front of more than 4,100 people at the International Phi Theta Kappa Convention. This recognition proves that KCKCC students have the academic ability and are invested in giving back to our community through volunteerism.”           

Ortiz said he has learned many lessons during his time at KCKCC, but the most significant impact on his life has been being a member of PTK.

“There’s been a lot of things at KCKCC that have contributed to who I am today,” Ortiz said. “But I think the most significant would be PTK. It all started when Stacy asked me to volunteer once, but I kept on devoting time and effort, and it has paid off. The thing we always tell people about PTK is that what you put into it is what you get out of it. After all that I have devoted to PTK, I can safely say that it has been one of the biggest agents of change in my life. Many of the opportunities that I've been able to take are because of PTK.”

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