Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, annually selects 20 students from around the nation to receive the All-USA Community College Academic Team Scholarship. Current SF student Joshua Pickering has been selected as a 2016 recipient of this prestigious award. When asked about Joshua having received this award, Santa Fe College President Jackson Sasser stated, “Josh embodies the best that the college aspires for each student. Josh’s award is the ultimate personification of Santa Fe College being named number one in the nation.
The scholarship recognizes high achieving two-year college students who have demonstrated academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extend their education beyond the classroom to benefit the campus, the community, and society at large. Each community college in the nation is permitted to nominate up to two students per campus. Scholarship applications are first adjudicated at the state level. Those candidates with the highest scores are then moved on to be judged by an independent panel, which selects the 20 scholarship recipients.
In addition, Joshua, by virtue of being the highest scoring student in Florida, has been named as Santa Fe College’s first-ever Coca Cola New Century Scholar. The New Century Scholar program recognizes the highest scoring student in each state, Washington, D.C., Canada, and sovereign nations and territories, where PTK has chapters. Joshua, a student veteran who served in the United States Navy from 2009 to 2013, has earned $7,000 in scholarship awards and will be featured in a special edition of USA Today. He has also been invited to attend the President’s Breakfast at the AACC Annual Convention. Both President Sasser, and Professor Bobby Hom, Coordinator for the Honors Program at Santa Fe College, will be accompanying Joshua to the event.
Joshua has served as a Supplemental Instructor for Professor Bruce Teague, providing tutoring for Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus 1. Additionally, Joshua organized the College’s PTK participation in last year’s Relay for Life. He spearheaded fundraising by having local restaurants host spirit nights and trivia contests, and he led the chapter’s participation in the overnight event at the track. He saw SF as the financially responsible choice. Joshua’s intentions were to pay his SF tuition out-of-pocket and to save his GI Bill benefits for upper division and medical school. He is on-track to complete his Associate of Arts degree with Santa Fe Honors in Spring 2016 and will also earn his Santa Fe College Honors Program Certificate with Highest Honors, by virtue of completing 17 credits of Honors-level coursework. He has applied to the University of Florida as a Chemistry major and aspires to attend Duke University’s Medical School in the future.