Three CCS students are among 78 community and technical college students to be honored Phi Theta Kappa’s 2018 All-Washington Academic Team. They will be honored by higher education leaders, state legislators and others at a special ceremony at noon Thursday, March 22, at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia.
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is the national honor society for community and technical colleges. The program has become the showcase for Washington's 34 community and technical colleges because it honors the academic high achievers, who have demonstrated a commitment to success in the classroom and in the communities in which they live. There are more than 381,000 community and technical college students throughout the state. CCS team members include:
Spokane Community College
Jinwoo “James” Kim
Jinwoo “James” Kim is a second-year Running Start student from Mt. Spokane High School. He was born in South Korea, and he moved to the United States with his family at the age of 10 so he and his brother could have more educational opportunities. He plans to continue his education at the University of Washington and eventually earn his doctorate in a medical field. He volunteers at Providence Hospital.
Spokane Falls Community College
Major: AA Transfer
Abby Gillen’s parents never went to college, but they pushed her to strive for more. However, her father had a stroke while she was in high school. She says she barely finished and lost faith in herself as a student. Two years later, she pushed herself to attend SFCC, where she realized she did have potential. She fell in love with geology and plans to continue in that field. She currently holds an internship with the Spokane Riverkeepers and tutors on campus.
At age 23, Kara Roadruck was diagnosed with cancerous tumors in her femur which led to a hip replacement and a long road to recovery. She was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Despite hardships, her grandmother pushed her to go back to school. Kara did just that and enrolled at SFCC at age 29. She made the honor roll her first quarter and realized she could not only achieve it, but excel. She is now studying education and wants to become a high school or college-level history teacher.
In addition to a receiving an All-Washington medallion, team members also are eligible for a variety of scholarships from the state’s public and private four-year colleges.
The All-Washington Academic Team program is sponsored by the Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges, Washington State Association of College Trustees, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges and PTK. Scholarship sponsors include KeyBank of Washington, Washington State Employees Credit Union and Washington State Association of College Trustees.