May 2015

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Ammons is New Century Scholar


B.J. Ammons of Red Level, a student at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, is gaining the attention of the academic world.

He now holds the state’s single highest recognition as a New Century Scholar, and is one of 50 community college students from the United States, Canada and Guam to earn the academic honor. He was recognized at the recent statewide All-Alabama Academic Team program in Montgomery.

The New Century Scholar program provides a total of $100,000 in scholarships and is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and American Association of Community Colleges.

In addition, Ammons is one of 20 selected by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society as a $5,000 Guistwhite Scholarship recipient and will receive special recognition at PTK’s annual convention in Nashville, Tenn.

“To say we are proud of him is an understatement,” said Dr. Herb Riedel, LBWCC president. “His accomplishments in academics, as well as his involvement on and off campus, earned him this well-deserved recognition.”

The LBWCC student is the first of his family to complete college and is interested in pursuing a medical degree.

“I am grateful for the sound academic foundation provided by LBW’s faculty and staff,” he said. “These scholarships give me the opportunity to obtain the goals I’ve set.”

Due to a personal drive to overcome obstacles early in life, Ammons said he achieved his academic standing despite socioeconomic and cognitive learning disadvantages.

“I want to encourage people to pursue their educational dreams. Even though they may think it’s not possible, I’m proof that it is,” he said.

In addition to maintaining a grade point average of 3.955 while at LBWCC, he also serves as president of the Student Government Association and the Science and Engineering Club, vice president of Campus Civitan Club and the Andalusia chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity activities. In addition, he job shadows physicians at a local hospital.

New Century Scholars are the highest scoring students in each state and selected based on grades, leadership, activities and most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.  Each scholar receives $2,000 scholarship and plaque, and will be recognized in the April 23, 2012, edition of USA Today.

Guistwhite Scholars are chosen based on academic achievement, leadership accomplishment, and engagement in Phi Theta Kappa programs. Ammons was one of 20 recipients for 2012, selected from more than 2,240 applicants by a panel of independent judges.

Photo:  Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education Interim Chancellor Dr. Susan Y. Price, far left, congratulates B.J. Ammons of LBW Community College for being named Alabama’s 2012 New Century Scholar. Also pictured are LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel and Stephanie Bell with the Alabama State Board of Education.


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Lurleen B. Wallace Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges or SACSCOC to award the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science degrees and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.