Alicia Marie Cantrell Wins the Second Dr. Jerry Wesson Prize
Northeast Texas Community College Presidential Scholar, Alicia Marie Cantrell, has won the 2017 Dr. Jerry Wesson Award. This $200 prize, supported by an anonymous donor, commemorates the leadership and initiative of Wesson, an award-winning educator, writer, and facilitator of educational opportunities at NTCC. Its purpose is to encourage a student whose leadership and initiative in both Phi Theta Kappa and Honors has significantly enhanced the educational experience of fellow classmates. This is the second year the prize has been given.
Cantrell is currently the president of Alpha Mu Chi, NTCC’s award-winning chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and the president of the Honors Student Council at NTCC. She leads by example in the weekly meetings of the former, and is a member, along with five professors and one administrator, of the College’s Honors Committee.
This spring Cantrell will be the second student in NTCC history to present the most highly rated 2017 freshman-sophomore essay in the state of Texas at the meeting of the Texas State Historical Association in San Marcos. Her work on the intersectional feminism of Ann Richards and Barbara Jordan already drew significant attention at the meeting of the Great Plains Honors Council in Beaumont last April. The historians who compose the editorial board of the journal, Touchstone, have also selected Cantrell’s article for publication this spring.
“Alicia’s stated goals are to ‘be an advocate for those less fortunate and the voice of those who have been silenced.’ I am immensely proud of her empathy and concern for others, as well as her drive and determination. As the first person to have been elected president of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter and also to be elected president of the Honors Student Council, Alicia’s leadership skills and motivation will help her make those lofty goals a reality,” Dr. Melissa Fulgham, NTCC’s Director of Phi Theta Kappa said.
Cantrell, a graduate of Mount Vernon High School, hopes to attend the University of Texas at Austin, and become a lawyer.
Dr. Wesson is the author of the definitive history of Northeast Texas Community College, The Miracle on FM 1735. He is an expert on the educational history of our area, and remains active as a speaker, and a Mount Pleasant Municipal Judge.