Student Awarded Hites Scholarship

Posted on July 29, 2013 by Sally Mesarosh

Mesa Community College student Sahba Zaare is one of ten two-year college students who have been named recipients of the 2013 Phi Theta Kappa Hites Transfer Scholarship. The students receive a total of $75,000 to assist in the attainment of baccalaureate degrees. Zaare will receive a $7,500 scholarship and a medallion from Phi Theta Kappa. He is the first MCC student to be selected as a Hites Scholar.

The Hites Transfer Scholarship Program, made possible by support from the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation and the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, supports the outstanding academic achievement of Phi Theta Kappa members.

Scholarships of $7,500 each were awarded to 10 students based on applications submitted by members. Students enrolled in associate degree programs and eligible to transfer to a regionally accredited baccalaureate degree-granting senior institution in the fall of 2013 were eligible to apply. Judges reviewed and scored applications for academic rigor, engagement, and leadership.  The 2013 Hites Transfer Scholars were selected from more than 2,300 applicants.

"When the Hites Foundation and Phi Theta Kappa joined together a few short years ago to take the initial steps toward establishing the endowment, none of us anticipated the severity of today's economic challenges facing both students and colleges," said Phi Theta Kappa's Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley. "The Hites Transfer Scholarships are helping to meet a need that becomes more crucial every day - helping our students follow through on their commitment to complete by providing financial assistance to make earning a baccalaureate degree possible. We are grateful for our partnership, and we congratulate these 2013 Hites Transfer Scholarship recipients."

The 2013 Hites Transfer Scholarship recipients are:

Hunter Coulombe, Alpha Alpha Lambda Chapter,  Edmonds Community College, WA

Heather Ford, Gamma Lambda Chapter, Hinds Community College, MS

David Fox, Beta Iota Rho Chapter, Luzerne County Community College, PA

Michael Holt, Rho Rho Chapter, Gadsden State Community College, AL

Elizabeth Kennedy, Alpha Theta Iota, SUNY Monroe Community College, NY

Avram McCarty, Alpha Nu Zeta Chapter, Big Sandy Community College, KY

Martina Mapa, Beta Delta Omicron Chapter, Tarrant County College, TX

Muneit O’Brien, Beta Alpha Tau Chapter, Community College of Baltimore County, DC

Andres Roque, Alpha Gamma Kappa Chapter, Miami-Dade College – Wolfson Campus, FL

Sahba Zaare, Omicron Beta Chapter, Mesa Community College, AZ

In 2007, the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation challenged the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation to raise $350,000, which would be matched almost 2-1 by the Hites Family Foundation to create the $1 million scholarship endowment. During the Society's 2009 Annual Convention, Foundation Trustees announced that Phi Theta Kappa had not only met, but exceeded the challenge, and the Hites Foundation issued a second, equally-successful matching challenge. In 2010, the Hites Foundation gave an additional $250,000 grant to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation for the scholarship endowment to allow more scholarships to be awarded to Society members.

The Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation was established by Robert Hites, an executive with Ralston-Purina in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon his retirement he fulfilled a lifelong dream and became an instructor at St. Louis Community College.

Robert Hites turned down opportunities to teach at prestigious senior institutions because he valued the educational experience offered by community colleges, and he witnessed the determination and will to succeed of his community college students. He also came to understand their needs, and was determined to help them achieve their dreams, as he had achieved his.

"Anyone managing 'financial' investments recently has had their work cut out for them," said Ray Hites, President of the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation. "However, 'investing' in students ... 'investing' in education ... 'investing' in future generations of Phi Theta Kappa members and helping them achieve their goals and dreams. Those are 'timeless investments' ... 'recession-proof' investments."

The Phi Theta Kappa Foundation is focused on long-term financial stability for Phi Theta Kappa. It is dependent upon the generosity of individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations to ensure its future through support of existing and establishment of new endowment funds. For more information on how to contribute to scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members through the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, visit http://www.ptkfoundation.org or contact Dr. Nancy Rieves, CEO, at 1.800.946.9995, ext. 3537.

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.

Please direct media inquiries to Sally Mesarosh at mesarosh@mesacc.edu or the Office of Institutional Advancement at 480-461-7445.  IA website:  www.mesacc.edu/ia.