Four MCC students named to 2020 All-Arizona Academic teams

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Recognized for academic achievement and distinguished leadership

MESA, Arizona – Feb. 25, 2020 – Four high-achieving Mesa Community College students are being celebrated for their outstanding academic achievements and distinguished leadership at the 2020 All-Arizona Academic Team Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 27 in the UCB La Sala Ballroom at ASU West, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale, AZ 85306.

All-Arizona students demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. Each student is working toward an associate’s degree, maintains a GPA of 3.5 or higher (4.0 scale) and is involved in campus and community volunteerism.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs; the American Association of Community Colleges; Arizona Community Colleges; the Arizona Board of Regents; and the Follett Higher Education Group help these exceptional students reach their educational goals by awarding scholarships and issuing tuition waivers for Arizona’s three state universities: Arizona State University (ASU), University of Arizona (UA) and Northern Arizona University (NAU).

Judging consists of three rounds. First-round judges are local business, civic, education and government leaders. The second and third round judging takes place in Washington, D.C. by representatives from federal agencies and national education associations. Scores from the national competition determine each state’s team rankings. First Team members attending eligible Arizona colleges each receive a $1,000 scholarship, Second Team members a $750 scholarship and Third Team members a $500 scholarship.

Rankings for 2020 honorees will be available following this year’s ceremony. MCC honorees are Mesa resident Shelby Lynch and Gilbert resident Abigaly Atonal Rodriguez representing the MCC Southern/Dobson Campus and Mesa resident Kyle Kane and Gilbert resident Preston Peterson representing the MCC Red Mountain Campus.

Abby Atonal Rodriguez and Shelby LynchAtonal Rodriguez plans to transfer to the University of Michigan to pursue a doctorate in sociology. Her career goal is to work for the Arizona Department of Education and further student success for marginalized communities.

Lynch plans to transfer to the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University to pursue a master’s degree in business, digital marketing. Her career goal is to use social media to promote nonprofit organizations.

Person Peterson and Kyle KanePeterson plans to transfer to Arizona State University to obtain a bachelor’s in health care business and then pursue a doctorate in physical therapy. His goal is to open a health and wellness clinic focused on spine care and research.

Kane will be transferring to ASU where he will pursue a bachelor’s in biological and biomedical sciences. He plans to attend medical school to become a surgeon specializing in pediatric neurology.

The All-Arizona ceremony celebrates the outstanding academic achievements, community service and distinguished leadership of students enrolled in Arizona’s community colleges.

Arizona Western Community College President Daniel E. Corr welcomes guests. A representative from Governor Ducey’s office is delivering the Governor’s Proclamation. Emcees are Grant Woods, a Phi Beta Kappa member and past Arizona attorney general, and Ian Schwartz, an AZ Family TV3 meteorologist and reporter.

Dr. Larry Penley, chair-elect of the Arizona Board of Regents, is the guest speaker. Emcees Woods and Schwartz are presenting honorees with tuition waivers during the ceremony.

Northland Pioneer College, Northern Arizona University alumnus and previous All-Arizona Scholarship Award recipient James Brimhall is the keynote speaker. Now living in Pinetop, Arizona, he completed an internship with Arizona Public Service at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station before accepting a job with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque and obtaining his MBA from the University of New Mexico.

Eligible All-Arizona Academic Team members may be selected as one of 22 to be named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team, receiving an additional $5,000 scholarship, medallion, obelisk and a certificate during the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention, March 28 – March 30 in National Harbor, Maryland.

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Note: Rankings will be added​ ​online once received.

Twenty-six Maricopa Community College students were named to the 2020 All-Arizona Academic Team. A link to the MCCCD release will be added online once available.

Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, [email protected], 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the top 150 community colleges in the United States and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs online and at its two campuses and additional locations. Through the implementation of Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services, MCC is transforming ways it champions student success; college completion, university transfer and career attainment for all students. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body, including more than 400 international students representing over 60 countries, who enrich campus learning experiences. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training to empower MCC students to compete locally and globally. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, MCC is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Learn more at

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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