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Michelle Calderon and Aubrey Watkins win Texas Regional Scholarships

Watkins and Calderon with certificates

Michelle Calderon and Aubrey Watkins were recently awarded scholarships at the Phi Theta Kappa Texas Honors Institute. The PTK convention concluded on July 16 and scholarships were awarded. Those who have received the STAR scholarships from Phi Theta Kappa demonstrated academic and leadership promise. Phi Theta Kappa members from any community college in the state of Texas are eligible for the award.

Michelle Calderon was awarded the Dr. Mary Hood STAR Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship that recognizes the student with the highest scoring application among those who applied for the Summer 2023 Texas STAR scholarships. The scholarship is available to Phi Theta Kappa members throughout the state of Texas and is awarded on the last day of the Texas Honors Institute.

Michelle Calderon

Calderon currently serves as both the Treasurer of Alpha Mu Chi and a Presidential Honors scholar through Honors Northeast. Just last year, Calderon was designated the freshman representative for Honors. Most notably, Calderon served as a research scholar for the Minnie Fisher Cunningham Honors film where she attended a research trip to the University of Houston. Michelle also held the office of Parliamentarian for the Student Government Association on campus and is a member of both TAFE and Sigma Kappa Delta. In addition to her many student engagements, Calderon also tutors students on campus.

Further developing her involvements in Honors, Calderon has currently been appointed our Russell-Mowery Honors scholar and co-director of Honors Northeast’s next feature film, “Where E’r the Sun: The Traveling Preachers of Early Texas”. She has worked diligently with our Honors Director to help write the film’s script and has even travelled with our current research team to DeGolyer library in SMU to conduct research.

Throughout her time at Northeast Texas Community College, Calderon has received a number of awards and scholarships including the Havenstrite Criminal Justice Scholarship and the Cinco de Mayo Chamber of Commerce scholarship. Due to her valuable support, Honors also received an award through the Walter Webb Prescott Historical Society for their Minnie Fischer Cunningham history film. As a product of her hard work, Calderon will also be presenting her paper over Minnie Fischer Cunningham in Chicago for the National Collegiate Honors Council.

Calderon commented “This year, I was overjoyed to receive the prestigious Dr. Mary Hood STAR Scholarship, an honor that filled me with immense pride. Representing Alpha Mu Chi on stage was a moment I will cherish forever, and it further solidified my sense of belonging and purpose within our chapter.”

Like Calderon, Aubrey Watkins is a Presidential Scholar of Honors Northeast and an active member of Alpha Mu Chi. Watkins is also an avid writer and researcher who has received numerous awards for her efforts, including a Caldwell award through the Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society for her Texas history paper, a Bonnie Spencer award for her world history paper on Vikings, and a first-place award at the Red River Honors Symposium for her Honors statistics and psychology project. Watkins is also a pioneer among students at NTCC, creating the Design Club on campus and serving as its Vice President. Watkins can proudly add the $250 STAR Scholarship to her long list of academic achievements.

Watkins commented, “I am very grateful and honored to receive the STAR Scholarship. Though I was not able to attend the conference, I know our chapter came closer together and learned valuable life skills.”

Aubrey Watkins

Calderon and Watkins make twenty-four STAR scholars coming from NTCC. The previous twenty-two Texas STAR Scholarship winners from NTCC include (2022) Jordan Chapin and Raul Leija, (2021)  Maxime Risner, Aaliyah Avellanda; (2020) Hannah Barnes, Jalyn English, Maritza Quinones, Elizabeth Lively; (2019): Tonya Hammonds, Courtney Baldwin, Jacob Lambie, Jazmin Garcia, Verania Leyva-Garza; (2018) Hannah Dickson, Rhylie Anderson; (2017) Rachel Jordan, Brenda Godoy; (2016) Emmalea Shaw; (2015) Angelica Fuentes; (2014) Kayleah Cumpian, Tyler Reynolds; (2013) Stephen Milburn; (2012) Cory Myers; (2011) John Herron.

This is the fourth time a student at Northeast Texas Community College has been the top scoring applicant. Hannah Dickson (2018), Tonya Hammonds (2019), and Jordan Chapin (2022) were the previous recipients of the top scoring Dr. Mary Hood STAR Scholarship.


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