LINCOLN, NE – Six Northeast Community College students were recognized recently in Lincoln for being named to the 2019 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-Nebraska Academic Team.
Shanae Baker, Petersburg; Lizbeth Bustos-Salcido, South Sioux City; Logan Connot, O’Neill; Preston Dickau, Atkinson; Whitney Lindsay, Norfolk; and Viviana Villarreal, South Sioux City, joined 21 other
all-state team members from five other Nebraska community colleges in a ceremony at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lincoln.
The all-state academic team is sponsored by PTK – an international honor society for two-year colleges – and the Nebraska Community College Association, to honor students for academic achievement, leadership and service.
District 29 State Senator Kate Bolz served as guest speaker during the ceremony.
The 27 honorees were each introduced and presented Nebraska All-State Academic Team medallions and certificates.
Baker is an accounting major at Northeast Community College in Norfolk. She is president of Phi Beta Lambda and has been named to the President’s (honor) List.
She said one of her proudest accomplishments in college was when she and her teammates in PBL had their community service project on human sex trafficking place at the PBL national competition in Baltimore.
“I've never accomplished something like this before, and competing at something that is helping other people was an amazing experience,” she said. “Throughout the process I learned that it's way harder to host community events and raise money for causes than you would think. After all the effort we put in to helping others, getting a 7th place trophy made it all worth it. I look back now and think about how grateful I am that I joined PBL to have been given the opportunity to accomplish this.”
Baker plans to transfer to Wayne State College to major in human resource management while working full-time at Insurance 365.
Bustos-Salcido is an elementary education major at Northeast in South Sioux City. She has been named to the President’s List and Dean’s List.
She said her career goal is to change the lives of her future students.
“I want (the students) to fall in love with education so they are able to show the community just how much they can accomplish. My goal is to learn as many strategies and see what works best for my students. I want to make learning fun in my classroom, but also continue to challenge my students. I want to take the time and create relationships with their families because we all want what is best for the student.
Bustos-Salcido also credits her “outstanding instructors” at Northeast as she continues her educational journey.
“They always saw in me what I didn’t see in myself at the time.”
Bustos-Salcido will transfer to Wayne State College to continue her education.
Connot is a business administration major at Northeast in Norfolk. She is vice president of scholarships for Northeast’s PTK Tau Chi Chapter, a peer advisor and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She has been named to the Dean’s List and achieved PTK honors in Action 5, Star Project and College Project.
Her career goal is to become a high school or college-level business teacher.
Connot said, “I want to teach students how to budget, plan for finances in the future, and overall, be wise with their money. I feel this is an extremely important aspect of life, and many schools, like my own, did not teach students even the simple task of budgeting. I feel it needs to be a more popular subject in schools because it involves real life situations. Money is rare for many people, but it is thrown away like trash.”
Connot plans to transfer to Wayne State College to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business management.
Dickau is an auto body technology major at Northeast Community College in Norfolk. He has been named to the President’s List and is PTK’s New Century Pathway Scholar for Nebraska. He has been active in the Auto Body Club, SkillsUSA and various campus activities.
Dickau was one of the students selected to speak at the event in Lincoln. He said while his peers and his community have shaped him, “The one belief I stand behind the most is that your integrity shows forth in everything that you do.”
He said he has a goal to join the work force and raise industry standards.
“Aside from being honest and producing quality repairs, my education is second to none and this will help me achieve my goal of exceptional service,” he said. “I strive to get the most out of my education to make me the best auto body technician I can be. This will help me to become a leader in the industry and someday own my own successful shop.”
Upon graduation from Northeast, Dickau will continue his work at Ernie’s Body Shop in Atkinson.
Lindsay is a structural drafting major at Northeast in Norfolk. She has been named to the President’s List and Dean’s List and participates in SkillsUSA, the Pulse Club and serves as a youth group leader.
She said an opportunity to work participate in an internship at the Nucor Detailing Center was a significant time during her college career at Northeast.
“The internship I obtained at the Nucor Detailing Center was not a typical internship. We soon learned that Nucor was applying for a grant … to purchase 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC (computer numerical control) machines, vinyl cutters and embroidery machines for junior high and high schools in the area to help get kids interested in manufacturing careers. While helping with the installation, I was able to see how excited the kids were to have the opportunity to work with these machines, and that was an awesome experience for me!”
Lindsay would like to obtain a job designing golf courses. Her ultimate career goal is to obtain a job in structural drafting.
Villarreal is an accounting major at Northeast Community College in South Sioux City. She received the Presidential Scholarship award and serves as a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is president of the ENACTUS Club and participated in a Krispy Kreme donut fundraiser and Cardinal Christmas Baskets.
She said, “Thanks to my parents, I became an inspired and hopeful woman that will become the person that my nine-year-old self once needed as a role model.”
After completing her time in college, she desires a career in managerial financing.
“I can date my love for numbers back to the one night my father kept me up past my bedtime teaching me the multiplication tables in hopes that I would become a master multiplier. My father's devotion to numbers is what sparked my interest in financing. If I find a job I love, I know that I will wake up with a renewed passion every morning towards my career.”
Villarreal will transfer to the University of Nebraska-Omaha to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Phi Theta Kappa introduced state academic teams in 1994 as a way to provide scholastic recognition to members, while promoting excellence at two-year colleges. The state academic teams are a division of the Academic All-American Team for Community, Technical and Junior College students, an international program sponsored annually by Phi Theta Kappa, USA TODAY and the American Association of Community Colleges.
Last year, more than 800 of the country’s finest community college students competed for recognition, sponsors on the national team and cash stipends.
Northeast Phi Theta Kappa sponsors are Colleen Barnes, criminal justice/sociology instructor, Andrea Suhr, physical therapist assistant instructor, in Norfolk, and Cara Watchorn, student support specialist in South Sioux City.
GROUP PHOTO: (front row from left) Viviana Villarreal, Lizbeth Bustos-Salcido and Shanae Baker. Back row, Preston Dickau, Logan Connot, Whitney Lindsay and Colleen Barnes, PTK sponsor. (Courtesy Northeast Community College)