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All women All-Iowa Academic Team

By Ellen McCauley
On April 21, 2014


Every year in the USA Today newspaper, 20 community college students are honored as outstanding students. This year more than 1,700 students were selected from more than 800 two-year schools. 

Dean of Arts and Humanities Jennifer Bradley works as coordinator of Kirkwood Community College's All-Academic program. She said the college can nominate up to six students: Two from the Cedar Rapids main campus, two from the Iowa City campus and two from Kirkwood's various Regional Centers.

The students selected for Kirkwood's All-Iowa Academic Team this year are Emily Anderson, pre-pharmacy emphasis, Stacy Sturdevant, Liberal Arts emphasis, Lindy Sherman, chemistry emphasis, Ellen Mays, education emphasis and Ayeshani Weerakkody, computer science emphasis.

"Once the students are named by their community college, they are automatically named to the All-Iowa Academic Team," Bradley said. "The students who are on the All-Iowa Academic team are the best students from each community college in Iowa. Then those student's names are forwarded on to the All-USA Academic competition."

Bradley stated that although Kirkwood has not had a student on the All-USA team, one of Kirkwood's All-Iowa students was recognized as the highest scoring student in Iowa last year. This year, Sherman was one of Iowa's top students and, as a result, was named a Coca Cola scholar. She was one of 150 students awarded annually in the nation.

Sherman was offered and accepted a full-tuition scholarship to Iowa State University while she earns her bachelor's degree. 

Later this year she will also be recognized at the Phi Theta Kappa International Convention in Orlando, Fla.

After being recognized as an All-Iowa Academic student, Sherman said she has been given many opportunities, such as meeting new people and receiving national honors and scholarships. 

"The All-Iowa and All-USA teams are important because they give more opportunities to community college students across the U.S.," Sherman said. "The All-Academic programs help broadcast the message that there are some very intelligent, deserving people who attend community colleges."

When Mays learned she was selected as an All-Iowa team member, she said she was shocked. When she told her family, she said she was "squealing with glee." 

"I received the email and I paused. I thought 'It's ok. I probably didn't get it. At least I tried.' I opened it and it said, 'You have been selected as one of the Kirkwood Iowa City nominees,'" Mays said. "I had to read it twice to make sure it said what I thought it said."

The 2014 All-USA Academic Team was announced on Wednesday, April 9, and none of Kirkwood's nominees were selected. However, Bradley said she was very proud of Kirkwood's nominees this year. 

"The thing I was most excited about this year was that we have an all female academic team," Bradley said. "That may sound silly but as a female administrator it makes me very proud to see the female students at Kirkwood recognized for their contributions."

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