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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO), has gained its first-ever, New Century Scholar. Kelsey Williams was nominated and recognized with this selective scholarship based on her membership with Phi Theta Kappa, academic achievement, leadership, service, and response to significant endeavors.  There were more than 1,700 applicants for this scholarship, and only 51 community college students from the U.S., Canada and American Samoa were selected. The scholarships will officially be awarded in September.

“Kelsey is accomplished well beyond her years and is an excellent role model for young people. She is very deserving of the New Century Scholar award and NEO A and M College will be honored to call her an alum when she crosses the stage at our 2014 commencement exercise,” said Dr. Jeff Hale, NEO president.

Williams was NEO’s 2013 homecoming queen. She is from Commerce, Okla. and graduated as valedictorian of her class in 2012. Williams is currently a sophomore majoring in natural sciences. She is a Norse Star, member of Phi Theta Kappa, and a member of the All-Oklahoma Academic Team. She plans on transferring to Oklahoma State University to complete prerequisites for entry into the occupational therapy program through the University of Oklahoma.  Williams was formally recognized during the 56th Annual Phi Theta Kappa President’s Breakfast earlier this week in Washington, D.C. It took place during the American Association of Community College’s Annual Convention.

The New Century Scholars Program and All-USA Community College Academic Team is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group and presented by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa. The Coca-Cola Foundation is also administered by Phi Theta Kappa, and NEO holds the Mu Chapter. Williams serves as the officer of scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa.

Phi Theta Kappa is an International Honor Society which strives to promote scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and serves not only the college, but also the community. Students must hold a GPA of 3.5 or better to be considered for membership.  Members have exclusive opportunities and benefits and are able to enter in regional and international competition in areas such as visual arts, literary achievements, music competition, and science projects.

New Century Scholars are selected based on the scores earned in the All-USA Community College Academic Team Competition. More than 1,700 applications from 900 different community colleges were received this year. The nominees are evaluated by academic performance, leadership, activities, and how they apply their intellectual talents outside of the classroom. The New Century Scholars are the highest scoring students of each state. Williams is one of 51 community college students across the board to receive this honorary scholarship.

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