Four MCC students named to All-Arizona Academic Team

MCC 2018 All-Arizona Academic Team members Recognized for academic achievement and distinguished leadership

MESA, Arizona –  Feb. 28, 2018 -- Four high-achieving Mesa Community College students will be celebrated for their outstanding academic achievements and distinguished leadership at the 2018 All-Arizona Academic Team Recognition Ceremony March 1 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa, 1011 W. Holmes Ave., Mesa.  

The ceremony celebrates the outstanding academic achievements, community service and distinguished leadership of students enrolled in Arizona’s community colleges. All-Arizona students demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society.

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, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

Twelve Maricopa Community Colleges students were named to the 2018 All-Arizona Academic First Team, five to the Second Team and nine to the Third Team. Each student is working toward an associate degree, maintains a GPA of 3.5 or higher (4.0 scale) and is involved in campus and community volunteerism.

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

This year’s MCC honorees, listed by college campus, are:

Mesa Community College, Red Mountain Campus

Maxwell Manning

2018 All-Arizona First Team

Maxwell Manning - 2018 All-Arizona Academic Team member

Alysia Vera

2018 All-Arizona SecondTeam

Alysia Vera - 2018 All-Arizona Academic Team member

After earning an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University, Maxwell will pursue graduate work in zoological studies with an emphasis in ecology and systematics. With this training he hopes to perform field research and teach at a university.

Vera will transfer to Arizona State University to  earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology (forensics) with a minor in business. Her career goal is to be a criminal intelligence analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.degrees.

Mesa Community College, Southern and Dobson Campus

Jacob Riddle

2018 All-Arizona First Team

Jacob Riddle - 2018 All-Arizona Academic Team member

Johnathan Speakman

2018 All-Arizona First Team

Jonathan Speakman - 2018 All-Arizona Academic Team member  

Speakman plans to use the knowledge gained from earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Entrepreneurship from Arizona State University to help others build businesses to achieve their dreams.

Riddle plans to transfer to Arizona State University in the fall of 2018 to complete his undergraduate requirements for medical school. After earning a degree in biological and biomedical sciences from ASU, Riddle plans to pursue a career as a pediatric oncologist or anesthesiologist.

Mesa Community College alumnus and prior PTK member, Zahid Arab, is the keynote speaker, sharing stories from his educational journey and career as the community relations manager for 3TV/CBS 5 News.

Dr. Maria Harper Marinick, MCCCD Chancellor, will address attendees prior to the ceremony, which will be emceed by attorney at law Grant Woods.

All-Arizona Academic Team members are eligible to be selected as one of 20 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, April 28 to May 1 in Dallas, Texas.

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Information on all Twenty-Six Students from Maricopa Community Colleges named to All-Arizona Academic Teams is available here.

Media Contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for service-learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to higher 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 more than 150 degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body that enriches the learning experience. Renowned faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and nationally. MCC, located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of 10 colleges comprising the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information visit

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA)

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.

The Maricopa County Community College District 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, http://www.

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018