MCC students persist during the pandemic, are named to 2020 All-Arizona Academic Team

Note: Team rankings were added to the following release on March 29, 2021.

MESA, Arizona - March 3, 2021 -- Three high-achieving Mesa Community College students: Mia Haas, Savannah Sandoe and Vicente Ortiz, are being celebrated for their outstanding academic accomplishments and distinguished leadership at the 2021 All-Arizona Academic Team Recognition Ceremony at noon on March 4, 2021.

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 2021 honorees will be available following this year's ceremony.

Mesa Community College - Red Mountain Campus

Mia Haas

Mia Haas, First Team

Haas plans to transfer to Arizona State University’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts to earn a degree in Counseling and Applied Psychological Science. Her career goal is to work as a licensed substance abuse, addiction and chemical dependency counselor for adolescents and women.

Mesa Community College - Southern and Dobson Campus

Savannah Sandoe

Savannah Sandoe, Second Team

Sandoe plans to transfer to Prescott College ultimately earning a Bachelor of Arts in Adventure Education degree. Her career goal is to work with national and state parks to increase accessibility options for disadvantaged populations.

Vicente Ortiz

Vicente Ortiz, Third Team

Ortiz plans to transfer to ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business to earn a Doctorate of Business Administration. His career goal is to continue moving up the corporate ladder at his company, learn how to run a successful corporation, then apply the skills he learns into developing a small business.

The virtual All-Arizona ceremony, hosted on YouTube, is emceed by Grant Woods, a Phi Theta Kappa alumnus and past Arizona attorney general; includes a welcome from Cochise Community College President J.D. Rottweiler, Ph.D. and Governor Doug Ducey will read the proclamation and address honorees.

Ashley Knister, a Yavapai College and Northern Arizona University alumna, and previous All-Arizona Academic Team honoree, is the keynote speaker, sharing stories from her educational journey and career in local broadcasting.

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 11 - 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Learn more about the All-Arizona program at

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. For more than 50 years, the college has served 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 at its two campuses, additional locations and a combination of online formats. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, MCC is transforming how it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career attainment and advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and nearly 50% of its students are the first in their families to attend college. Its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The diverse student body includes more than 300 international students from 55 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to successfully transfer to a university or compete in the workforce. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC 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

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, March 3, 2021