MCC lands four on academic team
KINGMAN - Four students from Mohave Community College were honored on Feb. 23 at a luncheon in Phoenix, as members of the All-Arizona Academic Team.
Students are nominated by their campus deans and must meet rigid criteria to receive the honor. They are judged on academic achievement, service to the community and MCC, and personal references.
Those selected to the team are given a two-year, full tuition scholarship to their choice of the three Arizona universities, and a cash stipend from MCC to help cover the cost of books.
"Jann Woods, dean of student services, and I were proud to present our team members at the annual awards luncheon," said MCC President Michael Kearns. "These young people are truly some of our best and brightest."
The honorees this year are Decei Riggins and Dillon Lee Vaughn from Lake Havasu City, Scott Runyan from the Neal Campus-Kingman and Maurine Hammon from the North Mohave Campus in Colorado City.
Riggins is a nursing student who works three part-time jobs and cares for her 87-year-old mother and two daughters while attending school full-time. As a member of the Student Nurse Organization, she spearheaded a campus-wide fundraiser for scholarships and organized the Thanksgiving food drive.
As a volunteer with Calvary Baptist Church, she helped plan and execute community-wide outreach events for the Hualapai Indian Tribe in Peach Springs. The event is growing toward establishment of a faith-based recovery program for those struggling with substance abuse.
Vaughn is an art and illustration major. He has served as president of the art club, has been an active student government representative, and is involved in planning and installing exhibits in the college gallery. He volunteers at the annual Children's Art Festival, setting up displays and giving demonstrations and lessons for children on the pottery wheel.
He is a work-study employee at MCC and spends a good deal of time in support of his family. "My father is disabled and my mother is currently enrolled in the nursing program at MCC, while maintaining her job as a caregiver for the elderly," Vaughn said. "When my father is feeling ill and my mother is busy, I am required to help my younger brother with some of the things that my parents would normally do."
Scott Runyan is completing a degree in sociology and behavioral sciences and plans to go on for a master's in counseling. He currently works 30 hours a week at the Cornerstone Mission in Kingman as a case manager for their resident program.
He has served as vice president of the campus Phi Theta Kappa honor society chapter and has assisted in many college activities. As a work-study student in the precollege studies department at MCC, he realized that many people in the community could not afford the cost of the General Education Development exam. He organized and implemented a fundraiser that produced more than $1,200, which will allow 17 individuals to take the exam.
Maurine Hammon will graduate from MCC in May, a week before she graduates from El Capitan High School. In spite of a heavy academic schedule, she has been strongly involved in both high school and college leadership, sports and volunteer work. She also works at three part-time jobs in the community.
The project that is most significant to her was a joint effort of FLBA and student council to clean and refurbish the home of her science teacher after his wife died, so the family could have the service in his home.